Mental Health and Poverty

Benjamin Alutoho of Poverty and Associated Maladies Initiative (PAMAI) was quite innovative in his presentation at Gede Foundation Mental Health Dialogue of 9th September, 2015, when he asked participants to pair up and ask each other the questions – does poverty cause poor mental health?, and, does poor mental health lead to poverty. There was quite a buzz in the once quiet room as each partner in the pair was eager to express his/ her opinion about each question.

The consensus submission was that poor mental health can lead to poverty and vice versa. Thereafter, Benjamin went further to shock participants by stating that mental health is a ‘luxury item’ for poor people and developing countries. He explained this by saying that governments, donor agencies, international health bodies all have a way of focusing their attention on seeming common illnesses and pay very little or no attention to mental health which probably is the framework for a number of these other illnesses. The dialogue regrettably came to an end but participants at the session were glad they could well identify the relationship between mental health and poverty. The next session takes place on Wednesday, 30th September, 2015. Email Mr Godwin Etim on to make a reservation.