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Mental Health Association comments on recent incidents

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016. 6:42 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: This week we have been reporting on two matters involving persons with reported mental health issues.

According to the Mental Health Association, the public needs to be aware that there is assistance available through the Ministry of Health. Belize_ministry_of_health_seal

In the case of Arthur Wade, shot dead by the mother of his girlfriend following a dispute, the Association says the daughter was receiving mental health treatment on a regular basis. It goes on to say that keeping anyone imprisoned, despite the issue of care of unstable family members, is a violation of personal rights and the family can obtain information on how to get help.

The second incident, where a mentally ill man who allegedly destroyed a neighbour’s house through arson will not face charges, is a case of police “going easy” on the accused, according to the Association. It believes that a serious charge such as arson should be laid and then the court can weigh the defendant’s mental condition and decide the best course of action, including needed treatment.

The Association calls on the Ministry of Health to partner with international and national agencies to prepare an awareness campaign on treatment and for the chain of responsibility between health care workers and the Police to be clearly demarcated.

Quote, “While it is true that there is no cure for serious mental illnesses,” the release concludes, “modern treatment can allow persons with mental illnesses to live safely within their communities.  The support of family members and the community can ensure that this can be achieved to the benefit of all.” End quote.


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