NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 11, 2019) — Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) expressed satisfaction with the products on display by clients of the Mental Health Unit at an exhibition. It was staged on the grounds of the NIA in Charlestown on October 11, 2019, as part of the activities to mark World Mental Health Day on October 10.
“I am very much impressed with what I am seeing. It goes to show that persons with any disability, whatever it is, can still be very useful in our community. I am very much impressed with the lovely designs and lovely materials.
“I am seeing here you have the scrap mats, the jewellery, our flag in earrings and necklaces, below. We see pillows, throw pillows, decorations for chair backs, and we also have some pastries done by our clients as well. You see plants in the background, and they are doing their own little back yard gardening. So all in all, I must say thank you to the staff at the Mental Health Unit,” she said.
Mrs Brandy-Williams noted that there are more than 250 active clients who are serviced by the six-member staff at the unit. She used the opportunity to highlight the need for persons to pursue studies in the area of mental health to bring relief to the existing staff shortage in that area.
“That is indeed incredible because the amount of work that they have to do with each individual client is a lot, and so I would want to bring some awareness to the need for more persons to get on board and to assist.
“I’m appealing to young persons to make counselling and mental health training a career. It is indeed a noble career, and I am admonishing more persons to get on board. We need the hands. We need a partnership with institutions and with individuals alike, in order for us to help these people to continue to lead productive lives,” she said.
In an address on World Mental Health Day, Mrs Brandy-Williams stated that the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs continues to support the Mental Health programme on the island. However, despite challenges with physical space and human resources, the health care providers continue to provide care for all seeking help.
She commended the staff at the unit for the hard work they do on a daily basis, to ensure that their clients’ needs are met in a safe and confidential environment.
The minister also noted that the celebration of World Mental Health Day across the world aims to increase awareness of the importance of mental health, and the issues surrounding mental health conditions.
“When we speak of mental health we refer to how we feel, think, behave and interact with each other on a daily basis.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) further describes good mental health as a state of well-being where every person can realize his or her full potential as a human being, cope with the normal stresses of everyday life, and be productive and fruitful while contributing to the community in which he or she lives,” she said.