Georgetown, Guyana: Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony delivered remarks on Mental Health as a public safety issue as the Guyana Police Force hosted its two-day Symposium, according to the update shared by the ministry. The event was held at the Police Officers Mess Annexe located at Eve Leary.
The Symposium was held under the theme, ‘Improving Police Performance through Stakeholder’s Approach’.
As per the reports, during his remarks, Dr Anthony said that the Mental Health legislation had been upgraded to adopt modern mental health practices.
“How we practice psychiatry now is much different from the way we did years ago. Today, our job is not to keep people institutionalised; the idea is to treat and return patients to their homes”, Minister Anthony said.
The Minister disclosed that modern psychology sees acute episodes in patients, which, when treated, cause stabilisation resulting in a timely return of patients to their families.
“We are no longer keeping patients for an extensive time in our institution. The practice of psychiatry is changing, and these are the international norms we are embracing and adopting in Guyana,” he said.
The update also stated that he also highlighted that one in every eight persons globally experiences a mental health disorder.
With mental health disorders containing 22 categories, he said that anxiety, depression and neuro-developmental disorders are most prominent in Guyana. In addition, Minister Anthony made mentioned training programmes that are available through the World Health Organisation (WHO) to better improve mental health practices.
He said that the MOH has 16 psychiatrists and a postgraduate programme providing training to psychiatrists as they respond to the needs of patients.
“We also have two child psychiatrists and a forensic psychiatrist who can respond to legal issues”, the Minister highlighted.
With mental health as a global concern, the Ministry of Health is looking towards extensive collaborations with the Guyana Police Force shortly to provide training and support in dealing with persons with mental health disorders.
This Symposium was attended by the Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken: Deputy Commissioner of Administration, Calvin Brutus and other Senior and Junior members of the Guyana Police Force.