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According to the World Health Organization, 25 percent of the population will suffer from some sort of mental health disorder and 60 percent of the sufferers do not seek any help. Frontline workers, students, some elderly persons who have been left at home alone, and persons with co-existing mental health problems have all been affected during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was Mr. Bill Clinton who said that “mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of but stigma and bias shame us all”.
It is the wish of the APNU/AFC Coalition that this PPPc regime considers a prioritized and equity-based approach to mental health services during this COVID-19 Pandemic so that there is a better response and a greater social benefit among the marginalized and the vulnerable populations.
The APNU/AFC Coalition appeals to stakeholders and mental health advocates to design relevant programs and make use of digital platforms to empower individuals and educate them to improve their self-esteem and self-efficacy. It is the Coalition’s wish that these individuals’ problem solving and social skills, their coping strategies, and emotional resilience toward mental health will also be enhanced.
The APNU/AFC Coalition calls on the PPPc regime to desist from placing the mental health burden on the Guyanese families and households alone, but rather seek to make mental health care services such as psychosocial support accessible to the vulnerable and marginalized persons in all the 10 administrative regions of Guyana, especially during this COVID-19 Pandemic.
Dr. Karen Cummings
Shadow Minister of Health