Persons with non-specialist skills trained on mental health

Director of Regional Health Services of Region Six, Jevaughn Andrew Stephen (seated at centre) and Lecturer/Senior Psychologist, Balogun O. Osunbiyi (seated at right) along with participants of the mental health training workshop. (DPI photo)

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) recently completed a workshop in Region Six for persons with non-specialist skills to assist with the delivery of mental health services.

According to a Department of Public Information (DPI) release, more than 50 persons have benefited from this training, which is currently in the second phase in Region Six, East Berbice Corentyne. Practitioners from health centres and hospitals across Berbice were involved in the four-day training session which ran from October 22 to 25, at the Regional Health Services Region Six boardroom.

Senior Psychologist (MoPH) and lecturer at the workshop, Balogun O. Osunbiyi, was quoted as saying “When you have mental health services in a community where the potential patient is coming from, there is much more benefits for the patient and the healthcare provider”.

Director of Regional Health Services, Jevaughn Andrew Stephen encouraged the practitioners to use the knowledge gained to ensure they deliver proper and efficient health care services.

This exercise, which concentrates on the integration of mental health into primary care, is a collaboration between the Ministry of Public Health and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and focuses on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Mental Health GAP Action Programme (mhGAP). The training module used was crafted following studies presented in various modules including the one used in Belize.

It is a community-based mental health approach that has helped in the reduction of suicide cases in the country from 44.2 for every 100,000 people to 26.4.

The MoPH in collaboration with PAHO, will also execute a Problem Management Plus training exercise which will target faith-based organisations and other social groups.

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