Mental health workers told not to label patients

Health Watch

DISCRIMINATING against mental disorder patients can delay treatment and recovery, an official says.
Laloki Psychiatric Hospital acting clinical supervisor Sister Nancy Evara said fear of discrimination caused many people from getting help from specialists.
“We, the nurses and the health officers, must not discriminate and label our patients if we want patients to recover from the mental disorder,” she said.
Evara said, in dealing with the patient, effective communication by attentive listening, respect, using a calm neutral voice in discussions with patients and allowing them time and space to express themselves was important.
She said this at a mental health conference in Port Moresby recently.
Evara said this would ensure the patient respond better to treatment and recover quicker.
She said many times health workers were the ones who labelled the patient and this had to stop if changes were to take place in the treatment of mental disorders in the country.
Evara said more awareness was also needed to prevent labelling and discrimination for the mental disorder patient.
She said mental disorders were not only related to substance abuse but to other causes in society.
Evara urged participants to practice what they discussed at the conference going forward.