NIPAM held a Mental Health Seminar on 22 October 2020 to raise awareness on Mental Health Issues and its effects amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The seminar was hosted to help in establishing an advocacy platform for various institutions, scholars and individuals to share their views and commentary on many topics emerging from the discourse current and past trending in Namibia, regionally and the globe.
According to NIPAM’s Executive Director, Ms Maria N. Nangolo, the objective is not only educating the public about mental health but also to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with mental illness are often subjected to. “Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and job stress are common, affecting individuals, their families and co-workers, and the broader community. In addition, they have a direct impact on workplaces through increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased costs. You will also realise that very few Namibians seek treatment for their mental disorders. Therefore, it is part of our goal to promote the fact that Mental illness can be treated even at your nearest clinic, besides hospital or specialised healthcare providers”.

Mental Health Activist and Miss Namibia 2018, Selma Kamanya asserted that it is important to sensitise the Namibian community that mental health illness is a reality and an extremely dangerous enemy to our social well-being. “We want to let our people know the importance of recognising the people living with mental health challenges so that they feel and know that they are not alone”.Ms. Kamanya further added that it will be in the best interest of our Namibian community if all our institutions and organisations at large were committed to support those fellow workers and individuals who are struggling with mental health illness. An important part of ensuring wellbeing is the assurance that all Namibians, regardless of their culture, are aware of and are able to access the help and services they need especially supported by institutions who have employed them.
The seminar which was successfully attended by close to 40 people from the public and private sectors unpacked the common and uncommon causes of mental health problems and mental health as a result of complex interplay between biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors.