'Citizens have a duty to report mentally-ill persons to the authorities'
The Mental Health and Substance abuse director in the Health Ministry, Dr Maureen Irons-Morgan, is reminding Jamaicans they have a duty to report to the authorities mentally-ill persons who pose a danger to themselves and others.
Irons-Morgan says persons may report mentally-ill persons to the police and community mental health workers who are required by law to escort these persons to facilities where they can get care.
Irons-Morgan says once reported, mentally-ill persons should be taken to shelters or hospitals across the island for treatment and housing that prevents them from roaming the streets where they pose a threat to themselves and others.
Irons-Morgan says many times, relatives seek to appease mentally-ill persons by refusing to take them to hospitals.
However, she says this is dangerous for the mentally-ill and those around them.
Irons-Morgan’s plea follows yesterday’s killing of an elderly woman in Falmouth, Trelawny.
She was chopped to death by a 21-year-old man who is said to be of unsound mind.
The woman, Joycelyn Gomez, was reportedly standing at a post office on Market Street awaiting her Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) cheque, when she was pounced upon by her attacker.
The police have since arrested the attacker.
Numbers to call for community Mental Health Officers:
Western Region: St James, Hanover, Trelawny
North East Region: St Mary, Portland, St Ann
South East Region: Kingston, St Thomas, St Catherine
Southern Region: Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth