NYC commemorates International Youth Day
The National Youth Council, in collaboration with the Kanifing Municipality Youth Committee on Tuesday celebrated International Youth Day at a ceremony, held at the Youth Monument ground in KM.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Youth and Mental Health,” with a global slogan ‘Mental Health Matters’.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Youth and Sport, Hon Kebba Touray described the theme of the celebration as important, in the sense that wherever you go there are young people engaged in drugs.
He stressed that it is high time to look at the sources and find solution for them, as he urged NYC, NSC and the National Youth Scheme to increase their efforts in the struggle. According to him, the event should be celebrated in all the regions to sensitise the youth about the dangers posed by drugs.
Hon. Touray noted that the youth are the nation pride in all aspects. “Therefore, we must guard them in the right part,” he stated.
For his part, Bakary Sonko, the director of mental health at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, spoke extensively on the causes and precautions of mental health.
According to him, there are many youth organisations, which promote mental health status. As he stated, through engagement and community activities the youth should be able to envisage things that affect them.
Sonko said many people have mis-understood the fraction involved in mental health issues. Noting that people should improve on their mental health thinking, he said, this can only be achieved through sensitisation by creating awareness among the youth to desist from bad practices or anything that would hinder their mental health.
He opined that mental and behavioural disorder is not only the use of drugs or abuse of substances, but even societal influence and conflict can all lead to mental disorder.
The director of mental health advised that when such things happen there are preventive measures in place, such as primary measure, which is geared towards increasing sensitisation and information-sharing.
The secondary prevention, he added, is for people who are affected or are not grossly affected and they are living with them and have symptoms of mental disorder.
Momodou Gassama, who represented the World Health Organisation, acknowledged that mental health disorder is a global concern and the only way to tackle the menace is to establish strong communities mental health teams.