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Oct 7, 2016

World Mental Health Day Observed

Every year, World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October tenth. The theme this year is focused on Psychological First Aid and the support people can provide to those in distress. The day was observed locally in a ceremony at the Battlefield Park. In his address to the gathering, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health, Doctor Ramon Figueroa spoke of his Ministry’s commitment to Mental Health, outlined several projects and initiatives expected to address some of the local mental health challenges. This includes a national suicide prevention plan to be rolled out as early as next year:

 

Ramon Figueroa

Dr. Ramon Figueroa, C.E.O., Ministry of Health

“The Ministry of Health is cognizant of the fact that there is a lot of things that still needs to be done. We are trying to maximize the budget that we have in being able to provide a very important.  We have certain plans in place. The Ministry of Health intends to begin a training program for a new cadre of psychiatric nurse practitioners within the next fiscal year. We want to review an online MSTER’S Degree program. We want to review a draft mental health legislation to be tabled to Cabinet and we hope to be doing that by the end of this year. We are trying to develop a national strategy for the prevention of suicides. We want to fortify our cadre of PNPs and other staff. We want to strengthen and support and invest in inpatient units and half way houses. We need to improve on strategies that reduce alcohol consumption and we are working on the alcohol policy as we speak. The development of a national suicide prevention plan with the help of PAHO will take priority in 2017.”

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