Clinical Psychologist and Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Psychological Association, Dr Newman Arthur, has urged celebrities to include mental health screening in their routine health checkups.
According to him, entertainers need to seek professional care for the well-being of their mental health to avoid drug abuse in solving the pressures of their work.
Speaking in a conversation with Graphic Showbiz , Dr Newman Arthur, said entertainers/celebrities were always at risk of suicidal thoughts when satisfying the demands placed on them to perform became difficult and should often seek medical health.
“People use dysfunctional coping strategies to handle life stresses so if our entertainers are not careful, instead of them seeking professional help, they may use substances, alcohol and others, including illicit sex to cope with life stresses and that can create more problems for them.
“Our celebrities are in the public domain, the stress, anxieties, pressure on them, and expectations to maintain a certain performance are greater than that of an ‘ordinary’ person who is not under that pressure.
He said some entertainers pretend to be well in order to keep their followers happy and entertain their audience.
“And it was difficult to detect mental health challenges in celebrities because of the nature of their jobs. They entertain their followers, even when they are not mentally sound. The fact that someone is performing does not mean they are okay. It is just that they are part of the few people who have some special abilities which are desirable,” he revealed.
He added that to keep up with some of these expectations, entertainers were forced to adopt what he described as “dysfunctional coping strategies” by getting involved in addictive behaviours such as drugs and alcohol abuse and illicit sex, among other disreputable acts.
Dr Newman Arthur, who is the Acting Director of University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) said celebrities need to prioritize their mental health more than the ordinary person.
“Mental health is part of a person’s health so if we recommend that every year, people should do health screening, it should be included. Mental health is not about someone lying naked on the streets. Unfortunately, the moment you mention mental care, that is how people see it.
“In this era of social media and its attendant trolling, the mental health of celebrities is threatened particularly with insults among others rained on them online—all these have a psychological impact on them. So I expect them to even pay more attention to their mental health than the ordinary person,” he added.
This comes at the back of conversation about challenges entertainers face with their work and relations with their management.