According to data from the Institute of Health Metrics Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease, about 13% of the global population – some 971 million people - suffer from some kind of mental disorder. This problem is not alien to Gibraltar, even though visibility, awareness and data availability regarding the issue are all clearly lacking. For too long Gibraltar has neglected the Mental Health care of the community. This has pushed those affected to a state of even greater vulnerability and allowed for the problem to get progressively worse. After decades of mismanagement and a lack of determination to tackle and resolve this issue, we find ourselves with an ever-growing problem.
The human cost of poor mental health is huge with poor mental health impacting on the individual and those around them, with the ultimate human cost being loss of life through suicide. Untreated poor mental health also impacts on our economy with loss of presence at work, absence of staff and high staff turnover.
Together Gibraltar proposes to:
Conduct a full review of the Mental Health Act in consultation with health experts.
Produce and publish an easy to follow, no-jargon user guide for the Mental Health Act.
Provide precise and comprehensive recording, access, and publication of statistics relating to mental health issues.
Create a formalised multi-agency structure to deal with the discharge processes and long-term aftercare support.
Appoint a councillor for all GHA patients and their carers that is readily available to enable patients to freely discuss their diagnosis and concerns freely.
Mental health is an important part of overall general health to keep us healthy in mind and body. Together Gibraltar will focus on prevention and intervention to ensure that mental health is kept in good condition from our young to our old. We will:
Appoint a Mental Health Specialist in addition to the Educational Psychologist with the brief of specifically providing support to students with mental health Issues;
Establish a student-based Mental Health Programme based on education, mindfulness and awareness using alternative and holistic pathways. We will incorporate mental health into whole body health and provide a comprehensive educational programme within the health promotion team and schools.
Establish a work-based mental health programme, working with employers to ensure a positive workspace that understands mental health and leading to a balanced life and greater productivity in the workplace.
Deliver appropriate facilities to agencies and charities that are fit for purpose by creating a separate mental health A & E using a triage system with trained specialist staff. We will integrate all areas into one large successfully run system.