Greater protection for the mentally challenged

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Greater protection for the mentally challenged

The protection of the vulnerable is one of many important causes being championed by Governor General of Saint Lucia Dame Pearlette Louisy.

The governor general is appealing for the protection of the most vulnerable in society, in particular those who are mentally unwell. This follows the recent upsurge of suicide on the island.

“Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, another matter which speaks directly to human dignity is mental well-being. The affairs of the mind are invariably not understood by many, but yet it is this well-being that dictates our paths in life. I must, therefore, lament the apparent rise in suicides in our country. There are many persons who live in a state of depression and who feel that their woes are insufferable. Indeed, there are many, as well, who suffer from psychiatric disorders which are not being treated, nor wish to be treated due to the stigma attached to mental illness,” she said.

The governor general lamented that as a nation of love and compassion there must be support for each other. She outlined government’s part in addressing the issue of mental wellness.

“We should scorn the actions of casting to the streets family members who need help. We cannot consider ourselves to be an enlightened land if we are not a land of love and compassion. My government commits itself to playing its part in dealing with the issues of mental health and wellness. Indeed, such matters should be discussed at the highest levels of the state, of which this parliament is not exempted. My government will review the state of mental wellness and its impact on society as a core part of its agenda for Universal Health Care,” she explained.

Government will pay considerable attention to the health sector through the enactment of new legislation and modernization.

Proposed plans include a health records bill, a mental health bill and a nursing practitioners bill to govern the qualifications and registration of nursing practitioners.

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