EVERYONE is responsible to assist and help mentally ill people.
National Head of Mental Health, Dr Paul Orotoloa said.
Dr Orotoloa said that it is in the nature of all human beings that whenever one is in trouble or is with a problem or is sick, people would tend to help.
“All humans have this natural instinct, this sense of caring and compassionate to one that is in trouble, has a problem or is sick. Therefore it is the responsibility of all citizens to help and assist whenever approached or have an encounter with a mentally ill patient.”
Dr Orotoloa however warned that such has not always been the case nowadays.
“Mentally ill people are often marginalized, stigmatized and easily abused in our own communities. They are talked about, laughed about and whenever needing help and assistance, people no longer have that compassion or sense of caring to help.
“Take for instance a person who is sick with malaria and a person who is also sick and has a mental illness. What would the reaction of those around him or her be?
“People would have that natural instinct to seek treatment and help the patient with malaria more than the one having mental illness.
“Why is this so? The answer is simply because there is not enough awareness made on helping people with such disabilities in our country.
“It is a problem that can be countered by my office if we are given the resources to tackle it,” Dr Orotoloa said.
Dr Orotoloa meanwhile added that families are the ones who should seek mental health services for their relatives who have such conditions, rather than the service seeking the patient.
“It is also the sole responsibility of families and communities to seek medical help and treatment from us, not us bringing the service to them,” Dr Orotoloa said.
He added that if such was the case then Honiara would not be filled with many mentally ill patients roaming its streets, sometimes causing fear amongst many.
By JEREMY INIFIRI