Maldives to provide psychiatric facilities nationwide

Maldives to provide psychiatric facilities nationwide

Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen announced on Thursday that work is currently underway to provide psychiatric facilities across the archipelago.

In a statement released on the occasion of World Mental Health Day 2019, Minister Ameen stated that mental health patients can seek treatment from the hospitals that the government now aims to further develop.

These hospitals include Hithadhoo Regional Hospital in Seenu Atoll, Kulhudhuffushi Hospital in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Gan Hospital in Laamu Atoll, Ungoofaaru Hospital in Raa Atoll and Dr Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital in Thinadhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Noting that this year saw a massive improvement in the field of promoting mental health, the minister listed the unveiling of National Mental Health Institute and covering the cost of mental health treatment under Aasandha, the national healthcare insurance scheme.

Minister Ameen stated that work was underway to initiate campaigns across the country to raise awareness about mental illnesses, and how families and society can take care of such individuals.

According to Health Ministry, the Mental Health Centre in Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) on March 25, 2019, has provided treatment for approximately 4,000 patients since establishment.

Currently, the centre offers OPD consultations, in-patient treatment, emergency treatment, diagnoses, medication, psychological services, rehabilitation and occupational therapy.

Minister Ameen additionally disclosed that the ministry was attempting to establish a unit dedicated to mental health in Health Protection Agency (HPA) to monitor and reform services.

Each year, World Mental Health Day is celebrated internationally on October 10 aiming to raise awareness and bring prevalent issues to the limelight in order to increase mental well-being through cooperation between the government, organisations and international bodies.

This year, various activities were carried out under the central theme of "Mental Well-being", including a walk organised by IGMH's Centre for Mental Health on October 4.

Moreover, informative sessions were held at various islands and institutions in addition to excersice programmes.

A panel discussion is also scheduled to take place on October 13 in collaboration with Maldives School of Nursing. Interested college students are invited to participate in the discussion.