Mental health needs advocacy



Participants attending the two-day mental health training in Auki.

MENTAL health is still a hushed issue, with many refusing to openly talk about or address.

With an aim to stress the importance of disseminating information on mental health, a workshop is current in Auki to train health practitioners on mental health, domestic violence and the family protection act that links with the health component.

The training workshop is a continued module of a project that looks at educating health practitioners from various health establishments in Malaita province.

Facilitator of the workshop, Dr Rex Maukera from the National Psychiatric Unit at Kilu’ufi Hospital, said the training is very important as it teaches the participants to understand mental health and important areas relating to it.

He said one area of importance is the understanding that a healthy life does not simply mean the absence of disease or physical illness.

“Health also associates with our thinking which means if you are not thinking right or always thinking negative it also affects your health.

“We talk about major mental disorders and minor mental disorders, for example, anxiety disorder, stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We also discovered areas on gender base violence, domestic violence, sexual violence and the family protection act itself.

“Other areas we covered include mental health and well-being, psychosis and schizophrenia, bipolar and depression,” Maukera said.

He said another area was also on the referral pathway for clinical intervention to domestic violence.

Maukera said the training will end next week where it took two days of this week and another two days of next week.

He said participants attending the training were staff from various departments within Kilu’ufi Hospital and health practitioners in central region of the province starting from Hauhui in West Are’are to Fauambu in West Fataleka.

Maukera said the other four regions in the province were yet to cover, but that depends on the funding from Oxfam to continue with the project.

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