World Mental Health Day to be Observed

DR. GRIFFIN BENJAMIN, CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST IN THE ACUTE PSYCHIATRIC UNIT

DR. GRIFFIN BENJAMIN, CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST IN THE ACUTE PSYCHIATRIC UNIT

In light of World Mental Health Day, which will be observed on Thursday October 10th, the Ministry of Health held a press conference, in an effort to highlight mental health concerns in older adults.

The focus of the conference, was to recognize that mental health has a big impact on physical health of older persons.

Dr. Benjamin says the mental health of a person after 60 years old, can easily be disturbed.

NIGEL LAWRENCE, ASSISTANT CHIEF WELFARE OFFICER

NIGEL LAWRENCE, ASSISTANT CHIEF WELFARE OFFICER

They suffer mental injuries when they are left alone, socially isolated and at the loss of significant friends and family.

The emotional life of the elderly is often disturbed when they become physically disabled.  This is made even worst, when they suffer abuse.

According to the Psychiatrist, the two most common conditions that affect the elderly are depression and Dementia, also known as Alzheimer’s disease.

 

MRS. ALIE MATTHEW, DIRECTOR OF DOMINICA INFIRMARY

MRS. ALIE MATTHEW, DIRECTOR OF DOMINICA INFIRMARY

Addressing some of the causes into the disruption of mental health of the elderly, the welfare Officer stated that the realization of this fact drives individuals into a state of despair.

Also contributing to the discussion, Director of the Dominica Infirmary, Mrs. Alie Matthew, said that unwillingness by the elderly to come into the Infirmary, also poses as a cause for mental health disruption.

This, she says, brings the individuals into a state of depression, where they refrain from eating, speaking or being socially engaged.

Dominica’s population is made up of about 13-18% of older persons.

The Ministry of Health encourages all Dominicans to join in this year’s campaign to increase public awareness, social support and family interactions that can boost the dignity of older persons, so that their mental health can be protected.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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