Morobe clinic notes rise in mental health patients

Health Watch

AT least 20 people are affected daily by a mental disorders in Morobe, an official says.
Morobe Mental Health Clinic nurse Sister Sarah Kasa told The National that most patients exhibiting symptoms were related to substance abuse, family violence and gender-based violence.
“Most of them come to the hospital to share their stories, because no one listens to them,” she said.
Kasa said the number of patients seen daily at the clinic had increased and they were struggling to provide adequate treatment and advice because of a manpower shortage.
“We have only 10 staff, five from the mental health clinic and five from the family sexual and violence committee,” she said.
Kasa said listening to and working with the increased numbers of patients was challenging.
She said with the current restructure of the provincial hospital, they did not have a building to accommodate their patients.
“But we still come in the morning, see our patients, do our jobs and go home,” she said.
Kasa said everyday they saw different patients with different mental disorders.
“Most are the youths, children abused by parents and relatives, raped, those with unwanted pregnancies, victims of family violence and gender-based violence.”
Kasa said this at a national mental health conference in Port Moresby recently.
Madang Mental Health Centre officer-in-charge Nau Kamon said most of their patients were those affected from substance abuse.
“We see them come with different mental issues such as drug-related (marijuana), parents and family abuse and sexual abuse,” he said.
Kamon said they helped 10 patients daily and that showed that not only in Madang but other provinces the numbers had increased as well.
He said he learned from the conference that he could improve some of his skills to help patients recover.
Kamon said with the new directorate in placed, they could work together to improve the lives of the people affected by a mental disorder.