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Crisis Intervention: Maldives to establish Mental Health hotline

Raif Amyl Jalyl
25 September 2019, MVT 21:23
Centre for Mental Health was established in Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on March 25. 395 patients were treated at this facility within the first month. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Raif Amyl Jalyl
25 September 2019, MVT 21:23

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof on Wednesday revealed that relevant authorities are undertaking efforts to establish a mental health support and suicide prevention hotline.

According to local media Mihaaru, the minister said that First Lady Fazna Ahmed is playing a leading role in advocating for the establishment of the hotline.

The Community Empowerment Minister asserted that limiting mental health support to intervention talks at moments of crises is inadequate, and that a system to follow up on such cases is mandatory. Thereby, he elaborated that the ongoing discussions regarded the implementation of such a system.

As the country moves forward in recognising mental health issues and prioritising mental health care, state-run hospital Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) established a 'Mental Health Centre' at its premises.

Further, the incumbent administration has pledged to cover mental health treatment and support under state health insurance scheme 'Aasandha'.

"There are certain preliminary aspects that must be sorted within 'Aasandha' in order to accomplish this. There is a long waiting list [of people waiting for treatment] at IGMH", said Mahloof. "We are getting ready to initiate efforts once proper setup is done".

The Minister stated that meetings with relevant authorities would be held next week and decisions would be made regarding next steps towards furthering mental health care.

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