Mental Health Awareness Day launched

Metal Health Awareness Day was launched on Tuesday with the activities revolving around the theme "mental health in an unequal world" with the Prime Minister joining the program.

The program was run at the Tu'utu'uileloloto hall on Tuesday evening and is part of a three-day program that is hosted by the Goshen Trust Samoa and The Salvation Army.

In her keynote address on Tuesday during the event, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa highlighted the importance of the theme for the celebrations.

She said that mental health in an unequal world can have its good and its bad side and it is the bad effects such as less being spent on mental health which is a major challenge. 

She added that we must recognise what we need to do to give a helping hand to those who are troubled by their lack of good mental health.

"Mental health services unlike general medicine and surgical services generally do not need fancy equipment but rather rely on people, people with training and expertise who deal with the many issues that affect mental health," Fiame said on Tuesday.

"For many years this country struggled with only a handful of expert mental health staff. We are being assisted by various partners to help increase this number especially with the training of our staff."

Fiame explained that the numbers of doctors and nurses and other medical services are still very short to meet the country's needs.

According to Fiame, one of the key skills of mental health is not just to give advice but to really listen to people and assist them.

"This is something we can all do. And the more that we do it, the better we will get at listening and better will be for those people who are telling us their troubles," she said.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer on Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of the Goshen Trust Samoa, Naomi Eshraghi said that the event is for everyone and a space for all the service providers.

"Today is about us having to see what we have in terms of the service providers, what they have, how they are being used and how can they can be accessed," Mrs. Eshraghi said.

"And what they need and most importantly, coming together collectively working together."

"[Wednesday] is the expo day where the public can see what we have, how we can help them, how they can help us and also how we can work together."

The event will have a two-day expo where the public can see what various service providers can offer and how to help others.

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