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Be serious about revisiting the 2009 mental health draft

World Mental Health day was commemorated on October 10, 2022 under the theme “Make Mental Health and wellbeing for all a global priority“.  Friends of the Mentally Ill joined with the international community in wishing everyone in Grenada and around the globe a peaceful, loving and stress-free day

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”; from this quote it would be difficult to find a healthy person in society as a whole. Mental health problems exist in our lives; impacting families, workplaces and communities.

A change in mindset is imperative if we are to tackle mental illness successfully. We need to accept that mental illness is our business and collectively work together to create the right conditions for our people to thrive daily. Over the years, Friends of the Mentally Ill have attempted to sensitise the public through the media and other events about the needs of those experiencing mental distress. However, mental illness is still a great taboo despite its common occurrence. People experiencing mental illness are still constrained by stigma and discrimination and lack of the right support.

Ongoing education is necessary. We cannot deny that our current mental health system is poor, we therefore need to push for changes and improvement. We are calling on our Government to prioritise reducing the factors known to pose a risk to people’s mental health and wellbeing. Factors such as: inequality, poor housing, unemployment the destruction and neglect of our beaches and other social spaces.

They must also commit to prioritising and investing in our mental health services; including prevention, early intervention, a crisis service and adequate outreach services to support patients and their care-givers. We are also asking that they be serious about revisiting the 2009 mental health draft and work vigorously to enact into law for a more equitable and just society.

As we go through this difficult time, we are calling on each other to return to the times when the village was a family and we looked out for each other. We end with the old African word UBUNTU “I am what I am because of who we all are”.

We take this opportunity to wish our patrons and collaborators well. Special thanks to the Pastor and members of the Calliste Open Bible Church.

By Friends of the Mentally Ill Inc.  


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