On Thursday, 18 October, TB HIV Care joined the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and other organisations to celebrate diversity and create awareness of the LGBTQI+ community at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus.
Health formed a big part of the day, as October is Mental Health Awareness Month. People identifying as LGBTQI+ often deal with different mental health issues due to stigmatisation and stereotypes around their sexuality.
Mental health conditions contribute significantly to the global burden of disease – and non-adherence to treatment in mental illness is a serious problem, which results in a decreased quality of life. We all deserve a good quality of life, so how can we deal with mental health conditions, which are becoming more prominent in our youth?
TB HIV Care provides combination HIV prevention including health education, HIV counselling and testing, provision of male and female condoms, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests and contraception, PEP, PrEP and multi-session evidence-based programmes to empower adolescents and youth to make positive health choices that contribute to living a good life.
TB HIV Care is working with closely with UKZN and other organisations to include mental health support into this package, as we see health as not only the absence of disease or infirmity, but as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
Mental health screening was offered on the day. Identifying mental illness at an early stage, with appropriate referrals and management can help our youth live positive, healthy and happy lives.