Minister of Health and Wellness laments rise in mental illness – Eye Witness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Health and Welfare Minister Dr Michael Darville yesterday said the country has a “serious problem” with mental health, noting that there are now more people on the streets with obvious signs of mental illness.

Darville, while speaking at the release of a report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) which assessed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Bahamas, noted that the country’s mental health challenges are “complex.”

Darville noted that he will soon be tabling a new mental health bill in parliament that will repeal the current legislation.

“With the shocks of COVID-19 to our mental health, we are seeing the impact on our mental health with challenges for our children through to the elderly. The mental psyche of our people is still in a difficult state. It has affected our physical health, our financial security and social networks across the country remain difficult.

“We only have to look socially to be aware of the disastrous situation that exists in the country. I am set to introduce a new Mental Health Bill in Parliament very soon which will repeal and replace the current Mental Health Act,” Darville said.

He continued, “There are more people showing up on the streets with clear signs of mental illness. It’s a very complex question because there are people who are vulnerable and it only takes certain shocks for them to tip over and start showing serious signs of mental illness.

“We have a serious problem in the country with mental health and it has impacted our children in school, work performance and social fiber because we are now starting to see people who were functional before these shocks now completely dysfunctional and walking our streets.”

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