No matter what your pay scale, Belizeans deserve access to mental health support.
In Belize half of us will experience a mental illness or mental strain at some stage of our lives. Your social status should not determine whether or not you can access mental healthcare — but for Belizeans, it’s is impossible get the support they need. This is particularly true for those living under the poverty line. There is barely any access in country to Mental health facilities; so only the rich can access this support abroad.
That’s why, I honestly would like to be in Government and lobby for a well-planned out, accessible Mental Health package in a People’s First Budget; were we make sure our plans include specialized support for all our communities; and a specialized package for our security forces and our Teachers , who are under an incredible amount of daily stress.
My Mental Health package would include — a new front-line service that will see mental health workers in places like Police station, BDF barracks, medical centers and in our new school infirmaries around the country. This will make it easier for everyone, including those who live in rural areas, to get support and advice, and to get it earlier, before small issues develop into major problems.
But I know many of our people living in remote areas and under the poverty line do not so much as have access to medical centers for simple first aid…This is Unacceptable by all measure; so while we are working on appropriate facilities; We will also invest in hotlines for free phone and internet services, to ensure that All of our people in all our communities can get help when they need it.
By taking mental health seriously, the BPF is ensuring that all our workforce and students are working to their full capacity in Building a Progressive Belize; A Belize we can all be Proud of.
Our mental health system won’t be fixed overnight, but this is a significant step forward, and I know this will help make a real difference for our people. It will be a positive and direct impact on this generation and especially on future generations.
Because I strongly believe in being proactive and not reactive, through the Nancy Marin Youth Foundation we are also already preparing an education and assistance program for victims of domestic violence and trafficking victims. Where the goal is to create a strong Coordinated community response team. For this effort I’m happy to announce that we do have a partnership with NAVCO and our pilot project will include 6 villages in Western Belize and 6 Southern Belize. This is a huge step to getting this Coordinated Response team set in place to become a major stakeholder in our efforts to bring reasonable support to mental health patience.