GUEST POST: Pascal Landindome Navelle, FRSPH
Postgraduate Researcher, Teesside University
Founder: Mind ‘N’ Health Foundation Ghana
Pascal Landindome Navelle is the founder of Mind 'N' Health Foundation Ghana.
Pascal's two big priorities for starting a foundation were to increase mental health literacy through advocacy and contribute his bid in developing the mental health system within his home country, Ghana.
Mental health is not a destination but a process. Mental illness is not a personal failure. It's about how you drive, but not where you're going. We all remember a time not too long ago when we couldn't openly speak about mostly chronic non-communicable diseases and other physical health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and many others. That was a family secret. Today, many of us still do not want to talk about AIDS or Covid-19. These barriers are gradually being broken down. According to Obama (no date), "at the roof of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg, or your brain, it is still an illness, and there should be no distinction."
Pascal Landindome Navelle is the founder of Mind 'N' Health Foundation Ghana. Pascal's two big priorities for starting a foundation were to increase mental health literacy through advocacy and contribute his bid in developing the mental health system within his home country, Ghana.
Pascal is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health UK, a Postgraduate Researcher (Mental Health / Well-being) at Teesside University, UK. His current research focus is on staff health and well-being resource accessibility during Covid-19. He is a Facilitator for the University of Washington Global Mental Health Programme and a Mentor at Mentor X- Africa. His background is in Mental Health, Research, Health Consultancy, Nursing and Public Health (Health Management Planning and Policy).
Since the incorporation of the Foundation in Ghana in February 2020, Mind 'N' Health Foundation - impact factor have engaged in mental health advocacy programmes on Radio, Television and Webinar series. We fed about three thousand vulnerable and people living with mental illness last Christmas. We are currently mobilizing resources to celebrate Christmas this December with people living with mental illness in Ghana. Also, we engaged in community durbars and school health talk programmes.
Our foundation has engaged in different research projects and has contributed to opinion pieces within the national (Ghana) print and media (Please see link in the list of references). We are open to international research collaborations. Our current research project is focused on the impact of Covid-19 on the well-being of health staff in Ghana.
Our impact story is how we come together as an organisation and a country to lead the way to prevent mental health problems. Also, we are building and growing a vibrant, creative, potent, robust, and sustainable organisation as the heart of the foundation where people can thrive and make life worthwhile. Like many social purpose organisations, our Foundation operates in a firm but complex and contested field.
There are many views on the correct language, the root causes, and the priorities for action in mental health. That can lead to a fragmentation of activity that dilutes organisation effectiveness. For this strategy to succeed, we needed to walk towards the complexity and understand it to distil a simplicity of purpose and direction. The result is a clarion call for far more significant action and investment into preventing mental health problems and absolute clarity on our role in responding to this call.
Our ambition is to look back in a few years and know that because of our work and countless individuals, families, organisations, and communities are more resilient, insightful, equipped, and compassionate and that particularly at-risk groups are more protected and empowered to lead the way to positive mental health.
As a foundation, we only have one option to ensure that ours will be the last generation that allows shame and stigma to rule over science and reason. Let's continue to show love to humanity, particularly the mentally challenged in our society. Let love Lead
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