By Mumtaz Saley Moosa
A few weeks ago, I had posted on social media asking people how Asian parents would reply if you had to tell them you were depressed. While this may have been hilarious it contained some truths.
Many parents have told their children that it’s all in the mind, amongst other reasons. The reality is that there is still a stigma attached to mental illness and health. When the lockdown began I had been on a search for wellness groups that focus on mental illness and I said to my husband, in jest, that one could find a drug support group, smokers group and even an alcoholics group in our small communities but there wasn’t a single mental health group!
Chatting to a psychologist on one of the groups I had asked why the psychological effects of mental health were not taken seriously. Her reply was that the stigma attached to depression has still rife, people would rather say their family member was on drugs than say that he or she suffers from depression. This is a reality and a narrative we all need to change going forward.
Older people may see depression in another light, but it is up to us going forward to change the way we view mental illness as well. Let us be the change that is needed in society.