Monday, 17 November 2008 9:33 AM

MOH Addresses Mental Health Issues

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has taken another step in the fight against a recent rising problem, particularly amongst youths - Mental Illness.

According to Solomon Islands psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Orotaloa, a consultant under the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently in the country to draft a Mental Health policy after consultations with key stakeholders.

Dr. Orotaloa revealed that the mentally ill face a lot of stigma and discrimination, which is a challenge in the fight against the disease. He revealed that just like anyone, the mentally ill do have rights, saying that mental health is developed by various factors, stress and depression being the main ones.

Even with the rising numbers of mentally ill, the Acute Mental Health Unit at the National Referral Hospital remains under resourced, with only four beds to those with mental health problems.

According to Dr. Orotaloa, the consultant currently in country states that, it is quite sad to know that most communities in the country do not know that there is a Mental Health Unit within the National Hospital.

Dr. Orotaloa also revealed that males have more mental cases than females, saying that the reason behind that is still unclear, and are still searching for the solution. He concluded that the consultations with key stakeholders towards the draft policy would ensure that they are more proactive in their approach to mental illness.

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