The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services says individuals grappling with mental health challenges are at a high risk of contemplating and attempting suicide.
Dr. Utjiua Muinjangue said this during the commemoration of World Mental Day held at Usakos under the theme "Mental health is a universal human right".
Many people globally experience mental illness or have at least one member of the family with a mental health condition.
These include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or untreated psychosis.
Dr. Muinjangue says discrimination, harmful stereotypes, and stigma in the community, family, schools, and workplace prevent healthy relationships and social interactions.
She says ensuring access to mental health services is not only the responsibility of the state and global organisations but of everyone.
Access to better living conditions, security, food, shelter, and housing are all necessary for people's mental wellbeing.
"Good mental health is vital to our overall health and well-being. Yet one in eight people globally is living with mental health conditions, which can impact their physical health, their well-being, how they connect with others, and their livelihoods. Mental health conditions are also affecting an increasing number of adolescents and young people."
Having a mental health condition should not be the reason to deprive a person of their human rights or to exclude them from decisions, she says.
"Mental health knows no boundaries. It affects people from all walks of life, irrespective of age, gender, race, or economic status. However, as we gather here today, we must acknowledge that mental health services are still far from being universally accessible. Many individuals continue to suffer in silence, lacking the resources and opportunities to seek help."
Dr. Muinjangue emphasised the need to create an environment where seeking help should be met with empathy and understanding rather than stigma and discrimination.
She urged the nation to work towards promoting mental health in communities to end misconceptions surrounding mental health.