From left: DJ King Kembe, Mental Health Foundation Executive Assistant Cyrille Brooks, President of Parliament Sarah Wescott Williams, Mental Health Foundation Information and Prevention Coordinator Bart van der Meijden, Mental Health Foundation Interim Director Eileen Healy and foundation nurse Elroy Morris.
PHILIPSBURG–Mental Health Foundation (MHF) held its annual observance of World Mental Health Day at John Larmonie Centre on October 10. The three-hour event focused on youth mental health issues like addiction as one of the most important challenges facing the future society of St. Maarten.
According to the World Health Organisation, mental disorders are the single most common cause of disability in young people. Seventy per cent of mental disorders onset prior to the age of 25, making the adolescent years a critical window in which mental health can be promoted and mental health problems can be addressed.
“When everyday problems are neglected, this can leave young people feeling socially isolated and stigmatised. Without knowledge or attention, these seemingly harmless problems can turn into mental disorders later on and unable them to optimise their social, vocational, and interpersonal contributions to society,” stated the foundation on Wednesday.
Mental Health Foundation strongly believes there needs to be immediate, increased investment in identification of early-onset mental disorders and effective early intervention programmes to deliver appropriate care to the youth in St. Maarten.
The event was held in collaboration with Turning Point Foundation and American University of the Caribbean Medical School, and focused on addiction specifically. In a playful manner, a dialogue was opened and information was provided. There were music, free food, games, information booths and many prizes to be won.
The organisation also thanked Tri-Sport, which donated a big part of the prizes for the event.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81577-mental-health-day-observed-with-an-information-session