A Mental Health Programme is actually a focused intervention for achieving a specific, often short term goal. An integral component of the MHP is the ‘mental health plan’. This is a more detailed pre-formulated scheme for implementing strategic actions. The policies and plans within the programme are engineered to improve the quality of services, accessibility, community care, the participation of consumers and families and the mental health level of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
The enjoyment of optimal well-being by all individuals through holistic development in a supportive environment which provides a wide range of quality integrated and sustainable services which are free from discrimination.
The MHP is dedicated to the promoting of mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions through advocacy, education, research and state-of-the-art services for all persons who suffer from a spectrum of psychiatric disorders and to improve the lives of patients and their families.
There are three main goals of the MHP:
- To encourage the development and maintenance of the highest level of mental health in the population of Trinidad and Tobago;
- To provide an adequate level of individualized care for those who have mental and substance abuse disorders, or are at risk from suffering from such disorders.
- To eradicate the discrimination and negative stigmatization of persons who suffer from mental disorders.
- To educate the population on mental health and the promotion of healthy lifestyles;
- To reverse negative perceptions of mental disorders;
- To reduce the incidence and prevalence of certain kinds of illnesses and disabilities;
- To reduce mortality associated with specific mental disorders;
- To provide adequate and appropriate primary, secondary and tertiary care for persons with mental health problems, with special emphasis on primary care;
- To integrate mental health with general health services as far as is possible;
- To develop linkages with other governmental, non-governmental and consumer organizations, for improvement of mental health;
- To undertake evaluation, research and training for improvement of the mental health services.
ROLE /FUNCTIONS OF UNIT
- Directs and coordinates the implementation of the activities of the MHP in the MoH’s annual action plan.
- Facilitates the operationalization of the MH Policies and includes provisions for children and adolescents.
- Coordinates the process of updating the MH legislation according to the MH Policy.
- Develops guidelines for quality assurance in mental health care, as part of the delivery of relevant services at the regional level.
- Monitor and evaluate programme performance at the regional and national level.
- Advises the CMO ontraining needs to ensure that they are updated with the new developments.
- Ensures the development of MHIS at all levels.
- Guides the implementation of public awareness.
- Assists with the development of a National Plan for delivery of MHS during disasters and emergencies.
The Manager, Mental Health Programme is located on the Ground Floor, Park Plaza, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.
D: 625-9900 F: 627-7301
MENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION
Mental Health: World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community (WHO, 2010).
Mental Health facts:
Depression : is the leading cause is disability internationally. Most medical conditions are accompanied by depression. People with co-morbid depression are three times less likely to comply with recommended treatment plans, resulting in higher health-care costs and increased risk of disability and mortality. Depression treatment in primary care is as cost effective as antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS.
Prevalence : 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental disorder at some point in their lives. Yet 4 out of 5 people with mental disorders in developing countries do not receive treatment
Suicide : every 40 seconds someone commits suicide.
Burden of Mental Disorders: 1/3 of years lost due to disability is as a result of mental disorders called ‘neuropsychiatric disorders. These account for 13% of total disease burden. 80% of the global burden of disease due to mental disorders is found in low- and middle-income countries. Among all disabilities, mental disorders are associated with the highest rates of unemployment, between 70%-90%.
Estimated # of Admissions per year in T&T There are approximately 3000 persons admitted annually for mental health issues. In the NWRHA alone, there are an estimated 1000 patients who present with self-harm (suicide) at the POSGH.