More than a third of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, which has a dramatic impact on their mental health.
Violence do not only results in physical injuries which can be life-threatening, but also mental health impacts which are as devastating.
Domestic and sexual violence have been identified as significant public health problems but little is known about the negative impact to which men and women with mental health conditions are at risk compared with the general population.
There is a rise in mental illness including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal ideation and attempts for women who have experienced violence and abuse.
In many communities, mental health services are not available or inadequate for survivors of violence. For locations where available, they are rarely integrated into the primary health care system.
On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, it will equally be important to address the significant issue of mental health either ways. This will require deliberate individual and community based interventions such as;
- Raising awareness among persons of concern of the need to prevent SGBV and about mental health services available to survivors.
- Avoid stigmatization and discrimination of survivors and those at risk.
- Assist survivors or Persons living with some mental health conditions to receive adequate mental health care.
- Promote the formation of community-based mental health networks among persons of concern and assist them in their preventive and information work on SGBV.
- Mental health cordinators and care givers must be professional; avoid being judgmental especially towards the victims, and listen.
- Partner with other stakeholders involved in GBV issues
- Build capacity by enrolling in learning programs such as the QualityRights e-training to understand more about rights in mental health