TV star Dr Musa Mthombeni backs mental health campaign

The campaign that Dr Musa Mthombeni has joined is inspired by the recent survey on the impact of Covid-19 on people's mental health.
The campaign that Dr Musa Mthombeni has joined is inspired by the recent survey on the impact of Covid-19 on people's mental health.
Image: Supplied

TV star and medical practitioner Dr Musa Mthombeni has joined a campaign that aims to address mental health and encourage mental strength for people to cope with life during Covid-19.

Known as "Three Word Stories", the campaign is inspired by the recent survey on the impact of Covid-19 on people's mental health.

The survey, which was conducted by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), stated that 65% of the 1,214 respondents admitted to feeling stressed as a result of SA's lockdown.

The campaign is an initiative of Metropolitan and it also features motivational speakers like Malibonge Xaba, Hector Mathebe, Keabetswe Jan, Lehlohonolo Thoabala and Abongile Mangala.

Mthombeni said he joined the campaign because mental health has always taken a back seat to physical health, and the sad part was that there was a lot of mental health issues that manifested themselves physically.

"Secondly, mental strength is not being considered and we are expected to be resilient and move on with life. The mental health issue is a big one and its seriousness ranges from mental sickness when people are diagnosed and have to take medication for and have to be seen for follow ups to a general anxieties that we all human beings have."

He added: "As black people, we have struggled in the past to have discussions in and around mental illnesses because mental health to black people means you are crazy.

"With campaigns like Three Word Stories and other campaigns that influence people to have mental health discussion, we hope that will change.

"These campaigns emphasise the fact that it is okay to be not okay. We have normalised that we are fine even when we are not."

Mthombeni said a motivational speaker will give people three easy ways to follow when dealing with any issues causing them anxieties.

"The aim of the campaign is to open up the discussion around these issues," he said.

Llewellyn Allen, head of marketing at Metropolitan, said: "During June and July, Metropolitan is encouraging South Africans to talk about their experiences linked to the pandemic through its new campaign. With so much responsibility on their shoulders, they may feel incapable of vocalising their own fears and anxieties.

"We wanted to remind our audience that their voices are powerful, and that by sharing these stories, they will encourage others to do the same."

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