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Mental Health Professionals Calls for Greater Support from Public Sector and Community to Address the Needs of the Population


By Devonne Cornelius

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) — Representatives of the St. Kitts Mental Health Association, in commemoration of World Mental Health Day 2020, on Friday, October 09, spoke on the theme chosen for this year while speaking on WINNFM’s weekly radio program “Voices”.


Making the presentation was Dr. Cherrilyn Warde- Crawford, Clinical Psychologist at the Joseph N. France General Hospital. “


The theme for World Mental Health Day is Mental Health for All; Greater Investment, Greater Access, Everyone, Everywhere. And what that is saying is, if resources are being poured into the services for mental health, if we are able to give or offer more services for mental health, we might be able to meet the needs of the population”.


According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WH0), only 3% of Health Budgets are allocated to Mental Health in low-income countries, and 5% for high-income countries.


“So what we are saying if we put more into the budget for mental, we would be able to offer more services to the population. So for things like the National Health Insurance that is coming on board, we are hoping that mental health would equal compensation as other physical illnesses, that way, persons would feel comfortable coming and seeking services for their mental health needs”.


Zahra Jacobs, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, who was also a guest on the program, said “what we want is some valuing from the public as well, greater investment from the public. Sometimes because mental is seen as such a thing we don’t want to talk about, there is so much shame attached to it, so much secrecy attached to it. If people were to talk honestly, may be about their own lives or the lives of people very close to them, I think we would see that we are all investing in people being mentally well”.


WHO reports that close to 1 billion people have mental disorders, depression is a leading cause of illness and disability, 1 person dies every 40seconds from suicide, and 3million people die every year due to the harmful use of alcohol.


Also making a presentation on the program was Dr. Rozella Stanley, Medical Officer at the Psychiatric Services at the Joseph N. France General Hospital.


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