Mental Health Advocate responds to Budget Speech

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In Antigua and Barbuda and across the Globe, Mental Health Care has never received the attention it deserves. In this unprecedented time, we must seek to put the health needs of citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda at the forefront of our decision-making. Not only should we be receiving better general healthcare, but mental healthcare must be integrated into our overall system to raise the standard of care.

The theme for this year’s Budget Presentation is “Maintaining a Healthy Nation and Restoring a Vibrant Economy”. The Prime Minister talks about Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Cancer, and Heart Disease being the top three leading causes of death in Antigua and Barbuda and the need to invest in a renal center, a cardiac center, and a medical diagnostic center.

It was noted that having a renal center with excess capacity, could provide a niche in our tourism product to cater to tourists with kidney failure. While I agree that these centers have their place in our health system, we must not forget the crucial role our lone Psychiatric Hospital plays.

For years, Mental Health advocates and charitable organizations along with the Staff and Management of the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital have been calling on the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to invest more in the facility.

Currently, Clarevue is in the process of raising $15,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars to construct an Isolation Room. This must be addressed. While we are investing in new centers, I implore the Government to remember Clarevue and its over 100 patients who require care.

The Police Force, Defence Force, Teachers, Nurses, and all other essential workers must be consistently and professionally trained in Mental Health First Aid to be in a position to assist in the event of a Mental Health Crisis. Additionally, these persons should have access to mental health professionals along with all other frontline workers who have been under tremendous pressure throughout this Pandemic.

Furthermore, the long periods of isolation and uncertainty of the COVID-1 Pandemic have amplified the need for us to invest more in mental health. Our most vulnerable populations such as women, children, and persons from low-income households are at risk of increased stress, anxiety, and depression and we must take responsibility and invest where necessary to ensure their health and safety.

If we are serious about having a healthy nation we must include mental healthcare as a crucial part of our national health policy. Many times, mental health disorders are comorbidity of NCDs, Heart Disease, and Cancer which are leading causes of death in Antigua and Barbuda. It is not enough for us to talk about removing stigma and practicing self-care. Our archaic Legislation on Mental Health from the 1950s must be revised. We must start to Legislate for change, growth, and Prosperity for All.

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21 COMMENTS

    • Need Fuh Know if you want to know who the advocate is asking for more resources to be placed in the Budget to address mental health problems, please ask JUST SAYING and JAMES HORSFORD the two ALP propagandists who say that the young lady is a UPP operative.

      • CARSON February 10, 2021 at 8:43 pm
        @ CHARLES TABOR
        Tabor …I have not heard your comment on Your Star Candidate…Leader of the OPPOSITION in Parliament performance in Parliament a couple of days ago. My opinion it was a disaster. Awful pronunciation of words. Very bad. Waiting to hear your comment Tabor. I believe you are SHAME.

  1. Essential health care comes first before mental health care could even be considered. People who have mental problems whether through the use of drugs, stress or badmind can wait especially since people with NCDs are of a greater risk of dying.

    Then again no amount of money could fix people whose problems are all in their mind. Especially badmind, the more you give it the more it grows.

    • Mental illness is an NCD. It’s such a shame to see all these health care personnels and even the health minister leave out mental illness when discussing NCDs.

      • I hope you have listened to the minister’s budget presentation. He did spoke on mental health and is doing something about it. He bringing home a very well trained Antiguan to run Clare Vue. And is suggesting that it becomes part of the MSJMC

  2. Need Fuh Know if you want to know who the advocate is asking for more resources to be placed in the Budget to address mental health problems, please ask JUST SAYING and JAMES HORSFORD the two ALP propagandists who say that the young lady is a UPP operative.

  3. It is very sad to see that we as Caribbean people do not understand that Mental Health is extremely important and since the kidney or cardiac centers are being put forth to entice the tourist who have those conditions remember that tourists also have mental health concerns and might need to take advantage of a mental health facility on the island as well.

  4. @ CHARLES TABOR
    TABOR…The Poor Lady is trying Her best . She is a UPP but is presently on the DNA ticket. The UPP stole the nomination in ST. Peter from the Lady . She is CONFUSED. That is exactly what UPP has done to most of Their Candidates. UPP with Harold ,Gisele,Tabor , Serpent , Cleon Athill…AWFUL PEOPLE.

  5. @ CHARLES TABOR
    JUST SAYING and JAMES HORSFORD are correct. The Lady is a UPP OPERATIVE. I do not understand why She is still working so hard when the UPP dumped Her.

    Tabor…Please explain why UPP censored and pulled D.GISELE ISAAC off the interview CIRCUIT

  6. This young lady is desperate for attention and trying her hand at anything that will stick. Nothing is wrong with having varying interests but she doesn’t seem to consistently stay “advocating” for a cause. Today, she’s a mental health advocate, the other day, a UPP candidate, shortly before she left, she’s up at the PM’s office for a photo op, then she self- promotes through recreating the Health Ministry’s dashboard. Sit down, ask yourself what you really want and perfect a craft and follow a cause passionately instead of throwing yourself all over the place. You look desperate now.

    • Well that is the name of the game when you’re in politics. Mommy Joanne Massiah probably urged her to start self-promote early. Having been badplayed in the St. Peters primary (just like Joanne was for party leadership), …

      • @Have Mercy…as the hypocrites of religion would say, “lord have mercy, pon we!”
        Check the news today, a Law enforcement officer has being murdered by a mentally ill patient, at a police facility no doubt.
        Let that sink in, then comment again.

  7. @ CHARLES TABOR
    Tabor …I have not heard your comment on Your Star Candidate…Leader of the OPPOSITION in Parliament performance in Parliament a couple of days ago. My opinion it was a disaster. Awful pronunciation of words. Very bad. Waiting to hear your comment Tabor. I believe you are SHAME.

    • CARSON just as you said it was a mistake in the pronunciation of the word. The word “per capita” or “per caput” derive from latin. It is therfore not a normal English word. Instead of saying “per head” per capita is used. As you know no one is infallible and we all make mistakes. I am sure there are some words that are tongue twisters for you.

  8. Was she a “mental health advocate ” BEFORE the UPP primary when the footballer trounced her? What’s her drive for being an advocate? Mental illness affects people she personally knows?

  9. …habits, become Norms!
    …norms, become A Way of Life!
    …a way of life, defines a People!
    …a People, defines a Culture!
    …said culture, will predicate!
    …this culture, shall dictate!
    …the direction’s, said #PEOPLE take!
    …for, as Time is left in its wake!
    …nothing, as in No Thing!
    …’tis, the only thing!
    …that, happens by mistake!
    …all other’s, are by #Design!
    …some will occur, by #Default!
    …while, other’s are by #Destiny!

    …there’s, a thin line
    …between, #Confidence and #Arrogance
    …so, while many of you!
    …and, you! Yes you! You too!
    …are twerking and skinning out!
    …doing, your #Bashment dance
    …like, braying burros in a trance
    …be aware, that therein lies #Ignorance!

    There’s no doubt, that crimes both QWERTY board/White Collar, and street level/blue collar crimes are on the rise in the Nation. Crimes are solved through the understanding, of the criminal’s mindset and behavior patterns put together like a jigsaw puzzle, where the pieces are the evidence(s) provided, to paint a picture of the criminal(s) and her/his activities.

    If anyone in their ‘right mind,’ bearing in mind, that a right mind, like a criminal’s mind is a trained mind through repeated habits, thinks that MENTAL HEALTH should not be given attention in the Nation, then I can understand, I really to understand why there’s a proliferation in such things as gambling, suicides, prostitution, dope dealing, pedophilia, alcoholism, physical & mental abuse, just to name a few.

    The present #PanDemic which has morphed into a #PlanDEMIC is doing more damage MENTALLY to the society, than the Gangsta Coronavirus Family and its new godfather COVID-19.

    My good decent Law abiding folks, the Molders of Society down to the religion which indoctrinated many, the Judiciary which controls many in the society uses psychology to do so!

    SALE! FOR SALE! SALE!

    RACISM…CLASSISM…POVERTY
    WHITE SLAVES…NIGGAHS…
    PUSSY…ASZHOLE…
    ALL BODY PARTS…

    Go ahead! Aim! Fire! Shoot! Work your Obeah!
    But watch da BOOMERANG Effect!

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