By LULU MARK
RISING mental health problems and illnesses has placed Papua New Guinea (PNG) in a dilemma that needed immediate solutions, Health Minister Jelta Wong says.
“Currently, mental health services coverage in PNG is low, but mental health disorders and traumatic effects are increasing drastically in homes, schools and communities, particularly in a fast growing populace,” he said.
“The imbalance is not healthy for our young developing nation.”
Wong spoke at the introduction of the new board members of the directorate of social change and mental health services, members of the mental health tribunal and the mental health fraternity last week.
“More than 50 per cent of the country’s population of 10 million are children (who) are valuable assets of any country’s development and ought to be protected psychologically to develop well into mentally healthy adults who contribute to nation-building in one way or another, directly or indirectly,” he said.
“A mentally healthy workforce and society is vital for high work productivity in work places and schools.
“We must accept the truth that mental and behavioural disorders are common, affecting people sometime in their life.
“One in four families is likely to have one member with a behavioural or mental disorder.
“It is important to understand that identifying, diagnosing and treating mental disorders are unique.”
Wong said last year’s World Mental Health Day theme was “Mental health for all, greater investments, greater access”, which the Government supported unconditionally.
By LULU MARK