Parents Tipped On How To Help Children Avoid Drugs, Grow Up Mentally Healthy

Parents Tipped On How To Help Children Avoid Drugs, Grow Up Mentally Healthy

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By Peter Ssebulime

Kampala: As Uganda marks the World Mental Health day on October 10th, health experts are calling upon parents to be more involved in their children’s growth even with the increased pressure upon parents to pursue careers and earning a living.

Dr. Merdard Bitekyerezo, the board chairman of the National Drug Authority (NDA) said during a presser on Wednesday October, 9, 2019 that the biggest number of youths seeking interventions for addiction today are children of the affluent.

A 2017 study carried out by a group of psychiatrists at Makerere University in secondary schools found that 60 to 70% of the students had used a type of illicit drug or alcohol of which 39% acknowledged to be using a form of drug regularly.

Also, at Butabika Mental Referral Hospital where most of the drug addicts are referred, the alcohol and drug unit had to be expanded because of increasing numbers of addicts being admitted.

Janet Kantarama, the Executive Director Safe Places Uganda mental health treatment center, she said “The number of those that speak out or seek care for their addiction or mental illness is very small since the issue is still riddled with lots of stigma and ignorance.”

TheWorld Mental Health Day, which is marked on October 10th every year, is aimed at creating awareness about mental health issues and helping mental patients seek professional medical attention.


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