JIS News

Governor General Sir Howard Cooke is urging all Jamaicans to support the programme and activities planned for the observance of Mental Health Day and to a wider extent Mental Health month. Sir Howard was addressing mental health officials today (Oct. 11) as he read the proclamation officially declaring October 11 World Mental Health Day.
“World Mental Health Day is an important event in our community because it helps all of our fellow citizens to recognize the importance of the relationship between mental and physical health and well being at all stages of life which is critical to ensuring healthy individuals, well functioning families and successful communities,” he noted Sir Howard informed that the World Federation for Mental Health had chosen ‘Mental and Physical Health Across the Lifespan’ as the primary focus of World Mental Health Day 2005. He further added that the observance would highlight the inseparable relationship between physical and mental health as there was a need to increase the awareness of both as a single unit.
“Everyday language encourages a misconception that mental health or mental illness is unrelated to physical health or physical illness. Studies show that physical and mental disease have a major impact on each other and that diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer and cardiovascular disease should not be viewed and treated in isolation from the possible mental and psychological issues of an individual.
The day is one in a series of events planned for the commemoration of October as Mental Health month. The annual conference of mental and physical health will be held on October 13, at the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay and a number of mental health parades will be staged in the parishes of Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, and Manchester.
Meanwhile Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Ministry, Dr. Earl Wright pointed out that generally, the week of October 10 was celebrated as Mental Health Week at which time specific topics around mental health and mental disorders were highlighted.