Another week. I can’t begin to wrap my head around the fact that August is going. Gone. Done. Over. 2020, huh?😅 But oh well, life will go on. This week started out pretty amazing💃🏽The cold is slowly becoming a constant here in Uganda. Now and then sunshine but the rain is dominating😌I pray you’re ok from wherever you’re reading this. A small reminder to count those blessings above all else! There’s always reason to give thanks to the Almighty.
My apologies. Today is Tuesday. So this week, I’ll be sharing with you about a much more sensitive topic. Lately I’ve come to question the system of order and functionality in our country. COVID-19 threw the entire world off balance, hands down. Drastic changes here and there. Loss of jobs. Depleted financial resources. Isolation. Starvation. Restricted movement. It’s been a hard time for everyone. The mental health crisis all over the world has been and become a great concern. Depression. Anxiety. Stress. Mood disorders. There’s also been a rise in cases of violence; especially gender based violence, domestic violence, theft, murder. Suicide cases. The headlines have not been pleasant at all. I’ve actually come to dread news time. It’s tragedy after tragedy. And the first response team to all this madness? Police. To an extreme, the help of the army has been solicited. Question is: Are they ready to handle all this?
Am probably in no place to bring this forth but I’d rather questions like this are asked other than brushed under the rug. What kind of training do security forces undergo? Are they really prepared to work with human beings and the challenges they face? And in light of this current pandemic, were they mentally equipped by their administration to enforce the directives put in place? In March this year, there were numerous videos and reports of use excessive force by security forces to enforce directives to frustrate the spread of the virus in countries around the world. Their level of force and manhandling is something I’ve personally never been able to recover from. Lives have been lost because of this inhumane system of operation. Lives we’ll never get back. Because some guy felt it ok to point his gun at someone and end their life in the name of violation of orders?!😤No matter the case, violence never solved anything. Murder makes it worse.
The most gripping of these cases for me is about the late Emmanuel Tegu who was a student of Makerere University and lost his life due to police brutality. Social media was up in arms over Tegu’s case. #JusticeforTegu was a trending topic on Twitter. A lot, a lot, a lot was said on the issue. But I lately discovered an article that focused on the issue from the scope of mental health. https://mulengeranews.com/emmanuel-tegus-sad-incident-what-society-really-needs-to-know-about-mental-illness/ Do check it out. It’s very informative about what Tegu and plenty of other people with bipolar disorder face.
Why police brutality?
The men and women in uniform that swore to serve and protect the people are also human beings. Mental health crises know no one. They too suffer psychological torture. Whatever training they receive to do their jobs with efficiency and upmost intelligence must include psychological support to avoid painful headlines but more importantly, to preserve human life and rekindle humanity’s trust in them, for everyone’s sake. Until actual action to ensure this initiative is put in place, this vicious cycle with broken families and more mental illnesses as its product will become a never ending system of life with hashtags as the only effort to put an end to it. Humanity has cried enough. We need action.
As always, do share your thoughts in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading.