By Delly Waigeno – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Every year on October 10, World Mental Health Day is observed.
This year, the World Federation for Mental Health chose the theme “Dignity in Mental Health.”
The theme highlights the fact that thousands of people with mental health conditions around the world are deprived of their human rights.
In a small but significant gathering, a number of key stakeholders including the Family Support Group marked the World Mental Health Day.
Through the different presentations, it was revealed that all too often, people with mental disorders and their families are discriminated against, stigmatized and marginalized.
Poor quality care due to a lack of qualified health professionals adds to these violations.
President of the PNG Psychiatrist Association, Dr Uma Ambi, stressed the importance of more awareness and coordinated approach. These will be made possible through a National Mental Health Policy. Discussions have been held to put useful thoughts together for the policy.
Senior stateswomen, Dame Carol Kidu, who once as a member of parliament, held the portfolio of Minister for Community Development, agreed that more awareness is needed on understanding social issues and the link to mental health.
A couple, featured in the video above, are working on setting up a foundation to create awareness on the condition for their daughter. They spoke of their experiences about the ignorance of the community and the struggles they face as caregivers. They want to give back to the community through their experience, and through the foundation, they hope to meet and share with other parents just like them.