First Lady remarks on the steep upsurge of public discourse and awareness on mental illnesses

First Lady Fazna Ahmed has remarked on the steep upsurge of public discourse and awareness on mental illnesses, further expressing that she believes the community is increasingly sympathetic towards individuals who endure mental-health-related ailments.

Speaking at the closing ceremony for Mental Health Gap Training conducted by the Mental Health Awareness Foundation, an organisation dedicated to creating social awareness regarding mental health issues, First Lady Fazna recognized the work being done to promote public awareness on the subject, as well as the steps being taken to protect the civil and human rights of mental health patients and provide better and more efficient treatment.

The first lady also reiterated the dedication of the administration to fulfilling its pledge to improve the health sector, with mental health comprising an important element. She also noted the concerns of mental health patients because of the lack of an official code of ethics designated for mental health practitioners and stated that the creation of a paper outlining such a policy is underway.

The first lady called on all medical practitioners to persevere in treating patients despite these difficulties, acknowledging the many challenges they face such as having to diagnose patients with illnesses outside of their area of expertise. She further urged everyone to promptly report any instances of mental illness through the proper channels. She also remarked on the importance of safeguarding patients’ confidentiality and anonymity in all cases.

The presidential pledges include working on providing treatment plans with full support for mental health patients. Accordingly, the administration has previously inaugurated the Maldives National Mental Health Institute as part of the first 100-day pledges. The administration also expanded the national healthcare insurance scheme coverage to include treatment and medicine for mental health patients.