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Mental Healthcare to Feature in Revised Youth Policy

Parents and students are being encouraged to seek professional help for better handling of their relationship and mental health issues.

Advocating for this is Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, who noted that crime and violence in the society are often associated with mental health issues.

“We need to take better advantage of mental health [services] available in the country. Do not shrink back from it; [do not] think if you have a mental issue, people are going to think you’re mad,” she urged.

Minister Williams was addressing the National Youth Policy Creative Challenge Presentation, held at the Ministry’s building in Kingston on Tuesday (July 19).

There she disclosed that the revised 2017-2030 National Youth Policy places emphasis on the importance and provisions of health and wellness services for youth across the country.

“This means we [will] increase access to the range of health and mental wellness services among our young people,” she said.

“I know when you talk about mental issues in Jamaica, the only image that comes to mind is this mad, dirty person walking on the streets. I’m here to tell you, that’s the far end of the spectrum,” she continued.

The policy outlines a framework for youth development within six priority areas. One of the focus areas is health and wellness – which will see policies and programmes being developed that are focused on emotional and physical well-being.

Other goals in this priority area include facilitating youth involvement in the design and implementation of youth health services and increasing their awareness of their role in health choices and the consequences.