CNW- Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, says more emphasis should be placed on prioritizing and financing mental health in the Americas region.
Delivering his speech at the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference in Washington DC on Tuesday, Dr. Tufton said financing mental health in the region would be timely and on the heels of COVID-19, which greatly disrupted mental health services while causing greater rates of anxiety, depression, and psychological distress.
Tufton added that Jamaica supported the Pan-American Health Organization’s (PAHO) policy for enhancing mental health and is supporting the resolution for its adoption by the Conference.
He also emphasized that the policy’s strategic lines of action are consistent with Jamaica’s initiatives to advance the country’s mental health agenda, which, he said, has admittedly experienced significant setbacks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The strategic lines of action include building leadership, governance and multi-sectoral partnerships and integrating mental health in all policies; improving the availability, accessibility, and quality of community-based services for mental health and substance use; advancing promotion and prevention strategies and activities throughout the life course.
Additionally, strategic actions will strengthen data, evidence, and research while also integrating mental health and psychosocial support into emergency contexts.
In his remarks, Dr. Christopher Tufton indicated that Jamaica is working hard to operate in accordance with those lines of action, which includes the development of the National Mental Health Strategic Plan (2020-2025).