The Ministry of Public Health builds capacity among health care providers by better enabling ordinary doctors to deal with mental illness.
Thirty-six non-specialist healthcare providers of Region 10 have successfully completed training in the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP).
The training programme served to supply non-specialized healthcare providers with the requisite skills and knowledge to better screen patients and provide diagnostic assessments that include treatment and long-term care options for persons living with mental health illnesses.
The mhGAP mental health-learning module is a programme with several strategic aims.
Key among them is to increase non-specialized healthcare providers with the skills and confidence in diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions using evidence-based strategies and tools, basically giving the doctors that are not studying mental illness key skills in dealing with mental illness patients.
Not only does the programme serve to better equip the non-specialized doctors, but also to increase their awareness of community mental health resources and their ability to develop care plans.
The mhGAP is also to improve family physician collaboration with psychiatrist and mental health clinicians with communities. Besides the non-specialized doctors, they also aim to improve the patient’s experience and outcome, in addition to promoting the engagement of patients in the management of their mental conditions, within the primary care setting.
Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, addressed the gathering, charging the doctors to put into practice the knowledge and skills they would have acquired through their training with the mhGAP.
Dr. Cummings also asked the non-specialized doctors to let their professionalism and drive for excellence, be the hallmark of the work they do.Minister Cummings also enlightened the members of the gathering of the fact that “the Ministry of Public Health is working unremittingly to reduce the stigma and discrimination as well as the harmful effects associated with mental illnesses.”
The minister also drew the conclusion that the training the doctors would have received “would place them in an excellent position to contribute to the overall national effort to comprehensively and completely address mental issues in Guyana”.
Non-specialized healthcare providers from Regions 3, 6, and 10 have so far taken part in the mhGAP training, which the Ministry of Public Health is currently conducting.
The training is ongoing and is expected extend to non-specialized healthcare providers from the other Regions around Guyana.
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