Mental Health Awareness Programme
The Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services continues to roll out mental health awareness program to the citizens of Fiji.
Last week, 35 Investigators from the Fiji Police undertook training on mental health awareness and the Mental Health Decree (2010). Police officers are often first point of contact when there is a mental illness issue or case reported to them.
Such issues include self-harm or attempted suicide, someone with a psychosis exhibiting confused or aggressive behaviour, or someone with an alcohol or drug problem being a public nuisance.
The Investigators had the opportunity to discuss their own mental health issues. They are often in positions of high stress and anxiety and have to deal with delicate or dangerous situations. All over the world there are police who experience personal problems such as post-traumatic stress disorders.
Many people may not realise that police officers have many responsibilities under the Mental Health Decree. As well as enforcing our laws they are required to assist health professionals, if requested, to manage and transport people with mental illness.
Often people with mental illness are required to be kept in police cells while waiting for transport to mental health facilities. Police have powers under the 2010 Decree to detain people whom they suspect of having a mental illness in a place of safety.
The training held last week is part of a collaboration between the Health Ministry and Fiji Police to help police by firstly, looking after their own mental health, secondly, knowing how to help people with a mental illness and thirdly having a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities according to the Mental Health Decree.
Meanwhile, those organisations and members of the public that wish to have a mental health awareness program can contact the Mental Health Team at the Wellness Unit, Ministry of Health & Medical Services.
Prime Minister Hon Voreqe Bainimarama at the medical screening at Parliament house.
The Ministry of Health & Medical Services conducted health screenings for members of the Parliament last week.
The Ministry continues to encourage the public that health screenings are important. The onus is on each and every individual to be health-aware.
Mr Usamate earlier said that people must take ownership of their health and get screened. This allows a person to be in better position to know and understand their health status.
“This knowledge allows us seek treatment if we are ill, or continue healthy living if we are well”.
Health Ministry launches Wellness Program amongst staff
The Ministry of Health & Medical Services remains committed to “walking the talk” and has launched its Wellness Program amongst health staff based at Dinem and Namosi house in Toorak.
As a strategic approach to combat non-communicable diseases nationally and right down at the grassroots level, the Health Ministry will embark on setting an example through this programme, to ensure health workers are healthy themselves.
While launching the Wellness Program today, the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Mr Jone Usamate said that health advocates must practice what they preach.
“We at the headquarters for the Health Ministry must not just talk about wellness to others but we must live and breathe this as well. I reiterate that NCDs is a huge problem and can only be addressed through lifestyle and behaviour change”.
“When a health worker stands up to talk about health, just by looking at the person we must be able to get the message. People always believe what they see”, Mr Usamate added.
Health screenings for staff have commenced today and so far 80 out of 133 staff have been screened. The screening for the remaining staff will continue throughout the week.
Mr Usamate also added that the NCD strategic plan was presented in cabinet and it encourages all other government agencies to include wellness activities in every corporate plan. The idea is to ensure that work places are health promoting.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry continues to encourage people to ensure that they are looking after their health and overall well being. It is important to incorporate a healthy diet and to be more active.
People are also encouraged to contact the Wellness Center for more information on health promoting workplaces or for information on wellness.