First Lady Fazna Ahmed on Monday stated that failure to accept mental illnesses as 'real diseases' undermined the human rights of those with such conditions.
She made the statement while speaking at the ceremony held to launch the National Mental Health Promotion Campaign. The launching was attended by Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen, who inaugurated the campaign with the First Lady.
She stated that people suffering from mental illnesses required medical attention, and expressed that public disbelief towards mental health hampered patients from attaining adequate medical attention, which she added was a basic human right.
"Similar to diabetes, mental illnesses need to be managed through medication and therapy. Just like a diabetic patient, if the condition is well managed, a person suffering from mental illness can have a good life".
She also noted that there are instances when lifelong treatment is required for mental illnesses.
Health Protection Agency (HPA) will conduct a nationwide campaign for a one-year period.
Assistant Public Health Officer Saneefa Hassan, from the Mental Health Unit of HPA, revealed that training programmes will be conducted under this campaign for professionals working in the health industry.
Additionally, 'Jazeera Mental Health Services' will commence operations in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll this year, which will conduct training programmes for health workers in the atolls of Gaafu Dhaalu and Gaafu Alif.