Mental Health In The Grenada| Renisha Joseph

  • .How are/were you affected by mental health?

A. I am Renisha Joseph and I am a Grenadian (from the tri-island state Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique). I have spent most of my life in Grenada but lived for about 5 years in st.maarten. Growing up I suffered from self-hate as a result of being insulted over the color of my skin. I have been through a lot and all of this resulted in low self-esteem. I also suffer from abandonment issues because when I came to Grenada from st.marteen I had no idea I would be staying. I woke up in the morning and my mother was gone. Mental health(specifical depression) has affected me the most when it comes to my emotional well being. I am not as patient as I once was. Sometimes I can become so sad that I feel as if my heart is tearing out of my chest. Another it has affected me is that I keep a lot of things to myself because I feel like talking about my issues is somehow selfish and negative. Currently, I suffer from extreme highs and lows. One moment I can be overly happy and the next I can be so upset/sad. Very often I find myself apologizing for things I don't necessarily have to but it has become a habit. And I do think that it has affected the way I communicate and selectmen in my life. I do have to say that I no longer hate my skin color. I love it and I overcome something every day in regards to my self-esteem.

  • How are you being supported?
A. There is one friend who I talk to. But sadly there is little to no support. I really don't have anyone in my family members with whom I feel I can go to when I have one of my down moments. I try very hard to self-motivate myself and prayer but I feel like if there was a way to get counseling that a lot of people will benefit from that.

  •  Do you feel that schools have the tools to support the youths suffering from mental health illnesses? 
A. No, I do not feel like schools have what it takes to assist children with mental illness (es). There is really not a budget geared towards educating the teachers and students about mental health and how to cope with the effects of it. Instead, we sweep it away and never bring the topic up. Another thing we have to remember confidentiality is something that every human being wants. We need to teach or therapists to not gossip about the issues that come to you on a daily basis otherwise this can cause the person to further retreat within them self and make the mental illness(es) worst. We need to make counselors available at all stages in life from pre k to university. That person who may be selected to be a therapist should dedicate their time to just doing that so that persons may not feel like they are bothering you from being somewhere else. We need to teach our youths that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a great strength. After all the strongest man is the one who can allow himself to be vulnerable. And hopefully, it will become a regular topic I stead if some taboo that must not be brought up for the fear that simply talking it discussing something such as mental health can result in the person(s) becoming ill.