Mental health an emerging priority
December 9, 2019 6:15 am
The Health Ministry continues to work in line with the UN’s vision for a well-developed support system to address mental health issues.
Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says local healthcare workers need to be trained accordingly to handle such matters.
This comes as a UN Expert says the Fijian population’s mental health is an emerging priority.
UN Special Rapporteur to the right of Health, Dainius Puras on his eight day mission visited Suva’s Saint Giles Hospital and has put forward multiple recommendations.
“On the one hand the system is underdeveloped. For sure there are many gaps. Actually there is no network of services and just one mental hospital and then many gaps”.
Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says mental health is an issue that continues to evolve.
“I think it’s important for all Fijians to understand that the mental health unit is not Saint Giles. Saint Giles is a hospital which they were admitted and the work around mental health has evolved”.
Puras says he will be making a full report to the Human Rights Council in June next year on the issue.
“I will recommend more in my report. I will provide more recommendations, but to have a coordinated and a comprehensive system, there is a need for policy so I will recommend for Fiji to have a national mental health policy”.
The UN expert says it’s critical to have psychological interventions for children and adults with mental health conditions at community level and healthcare workers should be empowered to be involved in provision of mental health support and care.