The consequence of being human is the necessity for engaging in complex interpersonal relationships because of the complexity of the human brain.
The coding of our empty cognitive slates does not take place in a vacuum but within the context of our diverse human relationships, such as that which exists between a married couple, a father and his children, parents and their family members, governors and their states, a President and his country.
These relationships are very crucial to wholesome human development. But if riddled with conflicts, it may have very grave consequences for mental well-being.
Conflicts are inevitable because every human being is unique in terms of biological and psychological constitution. This uniqueness is the basis for the finger printing, genetic and DNA mapping employed in forensic and other situations that require exact identification.
Human behaviour is a product of nature and nurture. The nurturing of the biological endowments in all of the templates of human Interrelationships requires recognition, understanding and accommodation of the peculiar traits of individual participants in a synergy.
Conflict in any relationship is not a negative signal, but its management often results in grave consequences for mental health. This particular need has been successfully captured in the developed countries whose governments view emental health as a crucial resource for all of life.
Mental well-being is seen as a form of capital that is vital to the overall development of the society .This paradigm extends beyond identification and treatment of mental illness to the prevention of the incidence of mental illness, thus ensuring that folks who are now mentally healthy do not break down and also employing mental well-being as a resource for employment.
The overall challenge for mental capital development is the successful management of conflict in the direction of resolution. I find the concept very useful among others in the handling of conflicts.
Synergy, in this context, is a form of cooperation in diverse forms of our relationships that transcends the narrow confines of selfish Interest for the ultimate common good.
A good number of mental illnesses are traceable to unresolved conflicts in the marital situation. The African culture is essentially patriarchal, which could indulge some of the tendencies in the males that destroy synergy.
Communication patterns, obligations and even budgeting may unduly favour the male at the expense of the females. The marital experience in this context therefore serves the interest of one spouse over and above the other, which may lead to the development of mental illness. It is one of the strongest factors of predisposition to abuse of hard drugs, which may be traceable to parochial parenting styles that prevent young children from expressing and asking questions.
The concept of synergy prescribes free association that allows unreserved expression. In Africa, there are many socio-cultural factors that provide a breeding ground for mental illness. Our culture has great values, but certain aspects that can damage the mental well-being of individuals need to be interrogated.
The philosophy of synergy is rooted in the concept of WIN- WIN which is a leading paradigm for growing businesses that will endure, families that will provide a sound environment for wholesome mental development.
The leadership, in varied settings need to provide avenues where participants can express opinion that can be harmonised into decisions for the common good.
Certain parochial cultural concepts that have no regard for the contributions of women and children will frustrate synergy and mental capital development. Relationships cannot just be allowed to drift; they must be governed by certain principles.
The same applies to the governance of our other social institutions. Synergy is the mother of the servant–leadership concept that is ruling the business and political world. Organisations, government institutions, schools and religious institutions can only fulfill their mandates of enhancing mental development when they are servant-led.
The current situation we are experiencing in our country provides a precarious template for mental illness to flourish. Our social welfare Institutions are comatose and when active, they are not properly governed to fulfill this mandate of wholesome human development.
Our leaders lack the discipline and culture of synergistic orientation and it explains why the institutions they govern have failed. We need to challenge the leadership of this country to submit to the win- win philosophy that underlines the concept of synergy. We need to provide a social and emotional environment that enhances mental well-being and aligns us in the direction of mental and capital development.