Education important when addressing mental health

─ it is important to understand the causes, symptoms and solutions

─ education plays an integral part in the successful implementation of projects

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Commonwealth Youth Council, Caribbean and Americas Region Representative, Franz George, today, said that education is extremely important and necessary when addressing mental health issues.

In an invited comment on day two of the Caribbean Summit on Youth Violence Prevention, George said statements suggesting persons suffering from mental illnesses are “experiencing a spiritual event or it’s a demon, often times come from a place of ignorance.”

This, he said, emphasizes the need to have education on the issue in all levels of society so it can be better understood. George noted that “these issues are real issues that people are dealing with,” further underlining the need to “understand the causes, symptoms and the solutions.”

“We also need to educate the young people how they can cope; how can they recognize that they are experiencing these issues and who to go to for help, so they don’t have to deal with these things on their own.”

The Commonwealth Youth Council, Caribbean and Americas Region Representative also said education must be in the picture as it plays an integral part in the successful implementation of projects which focus on mental health.

He described the conversation on Wednesday as a positive and progressive one and called for the strengthening of the mental healthcare system.

“We need to have persons in the community willing to work, the government also needs to be willing to work and policymakers and development partners.”

George highlighted the establishment of a mental health clinic or a positive mental health program “is often times a product of many partners coming together”

He added that the conversation needs to be “expanded amongst the players in the sector and then from there we can move into implementing these programs and having more centres.”

In addition to establishing more mental health centres across the region, George said people must also see the importance of accessing the facilities.

Anara Khan.

Images: Keno George.

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