By Lilian Sopera Keneqa – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Mental disorders and its traumatic effects are increasing greatly in homes, schools, and communities with the growing population and although PNG has psychiatric services, there is no formal Mental Health Service within the country.
But with the conception of the Director of Social Change and Mental Health Services, the pathway is clear to eradicate this growing issue.
The increasing mental health problems and illnesses that persist today in our fragile society pose a need for an immediate solution.
The Directorate of Social Change and Mental Health Services has provided a solution, however, it needs support from the society and government to be able to help citizens and those affected.
Cardinal John Ribat said, “It is important that this directorate is allowed and supported to be able to make sure that this service reaches out to our people.”
This Directorate was proposed after a series of consultation meetings with mental health workers and stakeholders throughout the country, but although officially approved in 2010 by the National Executive Council and launched in 2011, tit was not allowed to function.
The Cardinal continued “Because of some activities that were going on that caused the delay all this time”
According to the World Health Organization, mental health services cover both primary care and specialized care, with a mixture of promotion, prevention, and rehabilitation.
In PNG, we have Psychiatric services like the Laloki Psychiatric Hospital, where services are limited to the treatment of persons with mental disorders.
Psychiatrist Dr. Uma Ambi, said, “Mental hospitals are for a long-term stay.” “The Directorate will be entrusted to monitor the mental well-being of people in their communities and to have mental health services improved and expanded within the country,” she added.