Cameroon: Mental Health - It Is Not a 'Non-Issue'

In the short film, the Goretti Experience highlights mental health issues in men.

Goretti Etchu-Egbe, the Cameroonian film producer and director based in the United Kingdom, says mental health is often addressed when the person goes into visible psychosis-like delusion, hallucination and conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Less visible mental health issues like difficulty in concentrating, sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, anxiety, withdrawal from loved ones and even depression are typically not addressed. It is within this backdrop that Goretti Etchu-Egbe, owner of The Goretti Experience Production Company decided to put up a short film dubbed "The Mental Health Series" to create awareness on the presence of the health challenge in various communities worldwide.

In the short video of about seven minutes divided into four scenes, the protagonist (Daniel) is seen most of the time either sobbing alone or acting strangely. In the series, Daniel could hardly sleep at night. During the day, he spends most of his time on his laptop or with his phone. However, when approached by his wife, he simply pretends to be ok or just keeps quiet without revealing his worries.

Goretti says the Mental Health Series, which took place a few months ago on; "The Woman Experience" live show on The Goretti Experience Facebook and YouTube pages, inspired "The Woman Experience". The aim was to create awareness on the reality of mental health issues in society today. The Mental Health series, which is part of her; "The Woman Experience" on Facebook, had as prime, mental health series, sexual harassment and rape amongst other issues. Here, Goretti and her guests shed light on rape. This led to varying effects of rape, ranging from depression, panic attacks, anxiety, lack of self-worth... and a better understanding of the three types of rapist; - opportunist, a sadist and a vindictive rapist. In a bid to commemorate this year's Mental Health Day, last October 10, the producer, who is also an actress (Goretti) used her online platform to address societal issues and came up with the Mental Health Series... "Victims need us to believe them so that... they gain their voice and speak out against the ill. It starts from there," Goretti Etchu-Egbe explains. Goretti and her guests used her platform to advice therapy for the rapist and victim, seeking medical help, the use of pressure by the civil society for the administration to take measures to ensure individuals' security.

Through the short film, Goretti calls on the population to always listen, be observant and report any case of sexual harassment while changing the narrative of mental health illness in the community especially during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic characterised by anxiety, fear, isolation, social distancing and restrictions, uncertainty and emotional distress unlike before.

More From: Cameroon Tribune

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