Dr Patrick Amoth Officially Opens Mental Health Workshop

Written By Vanessa Kariuki ||

Acting Director General Ministry of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth officially opened a week-long regional (East Africa) workshop to strengthen Mental Health & Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) integration into national emergency preparedness.

Participants include representatives from the Africa CDC, WHO, IGAD, EAC, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the 14 member states of Eastern Africa who serve as the region’s focal points for emergency preparedness and response.

The Regional Coordinating Center for the Eastern Africa Region and the Africa Center for Disease Control jointly organized the event.

According to Dr. Patrick Amoth, public health and humanitarian crises have a significant impact on people’s mental health all over the world, but especially in the east African region.

He stated that emergencies have social and psychological repercussions on people on a personal, family, community, and societal level.

Dr. Amoth emphasized that there is always some level of mental or emotional distress present, which aggravates pre-existing mental illness or substance abuse issues.

“In our region, this situation is worsened by the disruption of little services on offer for mental, neurological and substance use disorders which was evident during the COVID 19 pandemic,” he said.

According to Dr. Amoth, addressing the short- and long-term mental health as well as psychosocial effects of COVID-19, including other emergencies, requires a public health paradigm.

He stated that this concept necessitates an integrated strategy in which an individual is viewed while taking into account all factors that affect their wellness.

Dr. Amoth emphasized the necessity to take into consideration concerns involving communities before, during, and after the catastrophe in order to ensure mental health and psychosocial wellness, particularly during public health emergencies.