Directorate facing challenges


THE directorate of social change and mental health (DSCMH) is facing a host of challenges, including lack of funding, to deliver mental health services in Papua New Guinea (PNG), board chairman Cardinal Sir John Ribat says.
“Since 2010, budgets were submitted but funds were not disbursed,” he said.
“We were just giving it and it was just a paper.
“I do not know who is responsible.”
Sir John said the directorate was not recognised and supported despite being responsible for mental health care services in PNG.
“We do not have an office and had been operating from space given by the Catholic Bishop Conference (CBC),” he said.
“There are many challenges, (including disagreements within the mental health fraternity), but we did not give up.
“This mental health service for our people is here to stay.
“It is not a thing of its own, it is an arm of the health service that the Health Department provides.
“It helps our people with mental disabilities or concerns to address it in their life.”
Sir John said it was important for people to know that mental health services were available to help them develop strong minds.