JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is calling for a collective approach to understanding and providing the necessary support to persons who are beset by Schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behaviour.
  • The Minister was delivering the keynote address at a World Mental Health Day function held on October 10, at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, St. Andrew, under the theme: “Living with Schizophrenia”.
  • The Minister said other improved treatment and interventions for mental illness include counselling, and psychotherapy, vocational rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and psychosocial rehabilitation, adding that “the input of families, friends, support groups and advocacy groups and the public are (also) of great importance.”

Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is calling for a collective approach to understanding and providing the necessary support to persons who are beset by Schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behaviour.

He says the stigma associated with the mental disorder needs to be reduced, adding that with increased awareness of the effects of the illness by community members, those affected can live normal lives.

“I call upon all Government agencies, partners, and communities, to work together to improve services and care for people with mental illness, especially persons suffering from Schizophrenia,” he says, while commending supporting groups, including the pan American Health Organization (PAHO), who he says have been working with the mentally ill.
The Minister was delivering the keynote address at a World Mental Health Day function held on October 10, at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, St. Andrew, under the theme: “Living with Schizophrenia”.

Stressing that persons with Schizophrenic conditions are making meaningful contributions to the society, Dr. Ferguson told his audience that it has resulted from appropriate diagnosis and adherence to effective treatment, mainly through the Ministry’s Community Mental Health Services Department.

“Medication for Schizophrenia is available through the public mental health services supported by the National Health Fund. In recent years, there have been significant improvements in the medications, some offering effectiveness with less side effects, promoting easier adherence and compliance with treatment,” he said.

The Minister said other improved treatment and interventions for mental illness include counselling, and psychotherapy, vocational rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and psychosocial rehabilitation, adding that “the input of families, friends, support groups and advocacy groups and the public are (also) of great importance.”

Dr. Ferguson informed that the Ministry’s work with mentally ill is made more effective with support from groups such as the Kingston-based Open Heart; the Ebenezer Home in Manchester; Open Heart in Montego Bay; Portland Rehabilitation Centre; and the WASP, in Westmoreland, as well as the Montego Bay-based Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally III (CUMI).