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Ministry of Health talks depression

Posted: Friday, April 7, 2017. 10:50 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Health (MOH), in commemoration of World Health Day is hosting a public forum at the Ramada Belize City Princess this morning focusing on depression and its effects.

The event gathers several departments within the ministry such as the Mental Health Unit and the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB), along with international bodies such as the Pan American Health Organization.

Director of Health Services in the MOH, Dr. Marvin Manzanero explained that depression is as much of a problem globally as it is in Belize and conceded that the incidents in Belize are under reported.

He added that one of the ministry’s common problems with acquiring the data is that Belizean men have a culture of not seeking medical or mental healthcare professionals and try to deal with the issues themselves.

“The forum is being held under the theme, “Depression Let’s Talk” because that’s what we need to do. Real men get depressed. There’s nothing wrong with seeking medical attention,” Manzanero said.

He added that the ministry is looking at incidents such as road rage, and increasing alcoholism, as possibly being linked to untreated depression.

World Health Day is in commemoration of the formation of the World Health Organization (WHO), which was established in April 7, 1948. In commemoration each year, the WHO chooses a health condition to highlight and raise awareness.

The WHO chose depression this year, because its own statistics show that around 5 percent of the world’s population are clinically depressed. Estimates are that only half of those people in developed countries are being treated, and even less than half in non-developed countries.

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