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Jun 19, 2015

Mental Health Stakeholders Participate in Workshop

More and more persons in the Jewel are living with mental health conditions, particularly in the elderly population. Today, a mental health and ageing workshop was held at the Belize Institute of Management in Belize City. The main focus is to provide mental health staff and stakeholders with updated knowledge on identifying disorders of the elderly and the necessary treatment.  Doctor Amy Aloysi, the assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Mount Sinai, New York, is facilitating the workshop along with the Ministry of Health. Coordinator of the Mental Health Services for Central Health Region and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Eleanor Bennett spoke to News Five today about the issues surrounding the elderly population and mental health conditions.

 

Nurse Eleanor Bennett, Mental Health Services Coordinator, Central Health Region

“Couple of the things that we are concerned about is to ensure that we have the correct treatment or the adequate treatment for people in this age group. Also we want to ensure that families have good support because as we have been discussing, the support to the caregivers are very important and so definitely we will make steps that we will not only support the older person with the mental health condition, but also support the family.”

 

Duane Moody

“Is there also a person with neglect, so to speak, when it comes to persons that are not considered normal and then in terms of people that are older, we see cases where older persons have been left alone in homes unattended; one died in a fire the other day?”

 

Eleanor Bennett

Nurse Eleanor Bennett

“Well certainly whenever things like that happen, it is concerning. It happens here in Belize and I sure that it happens in other places all over the world. But it speaks to the broader issue of mental health care and care for the elderly. It is not only about treatment with medications and clinical management, but it is also important that we ensure that we have social programs that support this population. And what we observe here in Belize is that there is a huge lack of social programs that contributes to social isolation; that contributes to depression; that contributes to marginalization of this population. All of these things have negative outcomes—psychologically and physically—for this population.”

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