No optimal health without good Mental Health – By Caribbean Voice

No optimal health without good Mental Health

By Caribbean Voice –

In 1984 the World Health Organization (WHO) defined optimal health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. With  Guyana’s elections around the corner, The Caribbean Voice urges all political parties to inform the nation about their mental health plans, especially where they stand with respect to the following:

Caribbean Voice Suggestions:    

 integrating mental health into the physical health care system;
 establishing psych wards in every hospital;
 training all health care workers in basic mental health care;
 mental health coverage under the NIS;
 psychologist in all hospitals and counselors in all schools
 gatekeepers’ training across Guyana;
 addressing agri-poisons suicide;
 domestic violence units in all police stations;
 suicide and domestic violence training for all police;
 safe houses in all regions;
 laws to try abusers even when victims refuse to press
charges and/or to testify;
 establishment of detox rehab program in the public
health sector, accessible in every region;
 establishing a registry of sex offenders;
 raising the age of consent to 18 years;

 decriminalizing suicide;
 across the board support network for abused victims and suicide survivors;
 creating a mental health app to facilitate Guyanese everywhere to
be able to easily and quickly access services and assistance;
 peer mediation programs in all high schools;
 a national program focusing on men to help address domestic violence;
 incorporating mental health, including suicide, all forms of abuse,
self esteem, coping skills in the Family and Health Curriculum and have this curriculum as part of the overall curricula in every
school, handled by appropriately teachers;
 establishing special education teachers and classes in all schools;
 making all public buildings accessible by the disabled;
 early intervention programs in all schools to screen for mental heath and learning disabilities;
 psycho social support for all teachers, health care workers and police officers;
 inclusion of mental health in occupational health and safety regulations and training;
 establishing poison control centers across Guyana;
 getting the mentally ill off the streets and into treatment centers;
 licensing protocols for clinically trained counselors and regulations to prevent quacks setting themselves up as counselors
 government support for NGOs and CSOs offering services in mental health, bereft of political or other unrelated considerations;
 updating the mental health ordinance of 1930;
 a national campaign to eliminate the stigma around mental health;
 making rape a non-bailable offence offense;
 getting all child workers off the ‘jobs’ and into schools;
 making it mandatory for all convicted abusers to report to the closest police station on monthly basis;
 mandatory psychological evaluation for all mentally ill, whether actual or perceived, who appear in front of the courts.

Caribbean Voice Contact Information:

1936 Daly Avenue, Bronx, NY 10460, USA • 718-542-4454 • 646-461-0574
100 Carmichael St., Georgetown, Guyana • 592-621-6111 or 592-657-6397
6 Ixia Drive, La Florissante D’Abidie, Trinidad & Tobago • 868-686-3625/7268-775 / •

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