BVI News

Gov’t cannot deal with mental health patients alone

Jacqueline Donovan. PHOTO CREDIT: Government Information Service

Programme Director at the government’s Safe Haven Transitional Centre, Jacqueline Donovan, has appealed for members of the community to start doing more to help persons with mental illnesses.

“Safe Haven cannot do it alone; Government cannot do it alone. So I am asking you to come work with us and come visit us to see what we need to work together to make a difference in the BVI,” she said.

Donovan noted that persons with mental illnesses are more vulnerable to homelessness, and Safe Haven seeks to cater to their needs and to provide them with the tools to transition back into society.

She also urged members of the community to start talking about their own mental health status, in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Donovan said, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, which is based in the United States, one in five adults experience a mental illness yearly.

She added that there several types of mental illnesses which include depression, anxiety and panic disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

Donovan noted that mental health affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts. It also helps to determine how one handles stress, relates to others, and makes choices.

Donovan, in the meantime, told the Government Information Service that, throughout this month, several activities will be held to observe Mental Health Awareness Month. Her staff will – among other things – try to boost public awareness, and will visit RiteWay and One Mart supermarkets at 11am on May 11.

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