Men urged to open up about mental health issues

Erongo Governor, Neville Andre Itope, has urged men to open up about mental health issues and seek help in an effort to better themselves.

Itope, whose speech was delivered on his behalf, made the sentiments at the second edition of the Men’s Conference held at Swakopmund over the weekend.

In his speech, Itope commended the event, noting that it is significant to provide a platform for pertinent issues such Gender Based Violence, suicide and mental health to be engaged and deliberated on and to equip the men in society with vital information.

“Many a time, men are confronted with the saying ‘man up’, insinuating that they should not be weak, show emotion and be vulnerable. This discourages men from opening up and talking about issues that hinder them and resolving challenges in a peaceful and amicable manner.

It is for this reason that men resort to anger outbursts that end in gender-based violence or domestic violence cases or suicide,” he expressed.

Statistics by the Namibian Police Force indicated that most of the suicides, GBV, murder cases recorded within the region are by men, who are afraid to speak up due to the pressure from expectations to perform from their partners or society as men.

According to Itope, this is worrisome and requires urgent intervention from all sectors in society.

“It is important to highlight at this juncture that morals, values and ethics play an imperative role in how men handle issues they have to face. Morals and values guide us to act on what is right and good for all, while ethics is the willingness to do the right thing despite the cost or effort involved,” Itope noted.

The governor encouraged all men to speak up, speak out and seek solutions in the right places and further called on the men to hold hands and do what is not only legally correct, but that which is morally correct as well to make society a better and safer place to live in.

The men’s conference was held under the theme: “Stop suffering in silence and speak out for solutions.”

Source: The Namibian Press Agency