Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) together with partners and stakeholders celebrated the World Mental Health Day on Tuesday this week, 10th of October 2022, with the theme “Make Mental Health and Wellbeing a Global Priority”.
The event was held at the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) with speeches followed by a radio talk back show and eye screening.
Health Minister Hon. Dr Culwick Togamana in his keynote highlighted that the theme calls for every-one of us to join in on the celebration raising awareness around mental health and wellbeing through highlighting of achievements but also challenges which we can reflect and pave more effective and efficient way forward.
“Mental Health Service is a division within the Ministry that looks after mental health needs of Solomon Islanders. It is an integral part of health, and the Ministry has a firm commitment to providing for the health needs of the people”,
“In our continuous strive for excellent and best outcome for health in the country, the Ministry has embarked on a number of strategic priorities, one of which is the Role Delineation Policy or RDP, that is amongst other key priorities the principle vehicle document guiding the development and delivery of health services premised on the values and principles of equity and fairness going into the future”, highlighted Dr Togamana.
He said that the alignment of policies and strategic commitments in a well-coordinated and collaborative manner with the RDP, the health needs of the population will be rest assured to be comprehensively addressed and fulfilled.
The Health Minister informed that the Mental Health Service in the country has taken positive and firm steps in the right direction in this regard by undertaking a review of the National Mental Health Policy 2019 to ensure its alignment with the guidelines and principles of the RDP.
“Upon its completion which is anticipated at the end of this year 2022, Mental Health Service will be in an advantageous position to influence changes in the service packages outlined in the RDP for bettering the Mental Health Situation out there in the rural remote of the Country where majority call home. I salute the Mental Health Team for the work in progress so far”,
“Further to that, the Mental Health Policy currently being finalized, will help determine the roadmap for the old Mental Health Treatment Act of the 1970s for its review, revision and eventual repeal to be replaced with an updated Mental Health Legislation for Solomon Islands where all the rights of citizens of this country will be protected and upheld”, stated Dr Togamana.
Minister Dr Togamana also highlighted at the service level a number of challenges including small number of staff in the department however said that with clear and visionary guidance from the policy document and legislation upon completion, there is optimism within the service that the road ahead will be traversed with a lot of confidence.
“Expansion of these services will be premised on the need for espousing of multi-skilled workforce to meet the multi-faceted mental health needs of the population tailored of course into appropriate health packages as outlined in the RDP”,
The government through the Ministry of Health will continue to support the work of Mental Health Department and the services that it provides, assured the Minister.
The Minister then officially launched the World Health Mental Day Celebration.