Tue | Jun 22, 2021

Take greater care of the mentally ill

Published:Wednesday | March 28, 2012 | 12:00 AM


I WRITE with concerns for the mentally ill among us. I believe it is the responsibility of the State to care for its mentally unstable citizens. In any society, those with mental problems pose a threat to themselves, innocent citizens and the society on a whole.

Our theme for mental awareness states 'There is no health without good mental health', yet our approach to mental health is rather mediocre. It is not until the situation becomes dire that help is sought for the mentally ill. This, in many cases, is when they damage themselves, someone else or property. Had early intervention been made, some of the mentally ill would not have ended up with chronic disorders.

With a new administration now in office, I hereby suggest that the mentally ill be considered as part of efforts to transform the country, as follows:

1. That we do some serious public education to help our citizens understand and detect mental problems.

2. Check for any probable mental problems during a child's early years, as I believe symptoms can be detected early if care is given.

3. After detections are made, have compulsory follow-ups so that the problem can be kept under control.

4. With stigmatisation being one of the main deterrents to those affected seeking help, as well as the sensitivity related to this disorder/ailment, efforts should be made to ensure those who work with these people are thoroughly prepared to deal with the challenges, thus ensuring positive results.

Patricia Clarke