Mental health is being in a state of well-being which allows us to function normally. Many persons are suffering from some type of mental disorder ranging from anxiety, depression, addictions to suicidal thoughts. In Belize, studies have shown that suicide attempts were extremely high in youths ranging from 15 to 19. However, instead of getting help many persons have chosen to suffer in silence since there is a stigma attached to mental illness. Today, the Department of Youth Services held a roundtable discussion to bring more awareness to the problem. Love news spoke with Renata Samuels, the Communications Officer at the Department of Youth Services, who told us that the roundtable discussion was being stream live and hopefully it will cause persons to get the help they need.
Renata Samuels – Communications Officer, Department of Youth Services: “We look and we are focusing right now on the mental health aspect and trying to dive in. How the discussion started? Well what we are hoping to do is have these be in segments, little segments and we are going to show it to the school and get the conversation started. We are going to have a live section from 11 to 12 pm on our Facebook page. After, people can go and check it out too as well because it is going to be saved there. Ascentium is going to be putting it on their Instagram page. I know You Report is going to be putting it on their Facebook page and their going to be asking questions really about how do you cope with these things. What would you tell somebody that has a mental illness? Those basic kinds of questions there to give the information across. We are counseling places that you can seek help so we are trying to bring awareness and trying to get people to be on the same page, to understand this, to be able to live with this and to live with other people that have this. The end result that I am really hoping for is awareness, for people to actually start talking about this “how to talk about topic” and how people can actually learn to cope, realize that there are other people out there that face the same thing. There are places that you can go for help, that you can actually reach out, that you are not facing this alone. That is what I am hoping for to really bring awareness of what this is and its entirety, how we as a country can move forward from this.”
The participants included the CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Kris Miller, Emily Heusner, a Youth Advocate, Maricelli Soberanis, Counsellor at Wesley College, Geffrey Nan Li, a Consultant with UNICEF.//////