Duchess International Women’s Day Conference, #Nairobi2024: Dr. Vicky Minkah-Adom Calls for Support and Understanding for Mental Health Issues in Africa

by Joseph Omoniyi
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Dr. Vicky Minkah-Adom, a partner in the NHS, UK, Highlighted the importance of maintaining good mental well-being, especially among women and girls in Africa, in a compelling presentation at the Duchess International Women’s Day Conference 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya.

In her presentation, Dr. Minkah-Adom shared her personal journey, revealing that despite having no family history of mental health problems, significant life experiences affected her mental health. She emphasized the need for support rather than judgment, noting that insensitive attitudes can worsen mental health issues.

Dr. Minkah-Adom also shed light on the alarming mental health statistics in Africa. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four persons living in Nigeria, approximately 50 million people, suffer from some form of mental disorder. Nigeria has Africa’s highest caseload of depression and ranks 15th globally in the frequency of suicide.

Addressing anxiety, Dr. Minkah-Adom explained that while it is normal to feel worried or tense at times, excessive anxiety can be an indicator of an anxiety disorder. She outlined various causes of anxiety, including genetics, life experiences, and circumstances, and highlighted the different types of anxiety disorders.

Managing anxiety and depression, Dr. Minkah-Adom emphasized the importance of understanding and support, faith groups, and talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and applied relaxation. She also highlighted the need for more education and community support for better mental health outcomes.

Dr. Vicky Minkah-Adom’s presentation at the Duchess International Women’s Day Conference 2024 provided valuable insights into mental health issues, urging support, understanding, and education for improved mental well-being, especially among women and girls in Africa.

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