By ASHTOSH SINGH
Fiji will celebrate “World Mental Health Day” this Saturday as part of its commitment towards providing all the necessary resources and facilities for mental health in the country.
The Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said that his ministry will continue to commit to providing resources or facilities for mental health patients.
He met this week with various non-government organisations to look at ways of improving the current approach to mental health. These organisations include the Youth Champs for Mental Health, Psychiatric Survivors Association and Lifeline Fiji who all “campaign for mental health issues and mental wellness”.
The Minister pointed out that key developments in mental health include:-formulation and implementation of mental health decree 2010 -Mainstreaming or decentralization of services from Saint Giles Hospital -Post Graduate Diploma for doctors in areas of mental health while new programs for nurses in mental health will be introduced next year -Re-opening of Adolescent Mental Health clinic at CWM -Purchase of ECT machine -Major renovation of Saint Giles Hospital at a cost of $250,000 -Regional Mental Health training institute development strategies with international donor agencies
Meanwhile, World Health Organization has predicted that Mental Health will be the leading cause of NCD in the world in 2025. Ministry of Health has diverted a lot of resources and money in areas of Mental Health and is seeking assistance of NGO’s and faith based organizations to assist Ministry in working towards improving mental health care in Fiji.