Sri Lanka calls for increased awareness on mental health

A doubling of collective efforts to create awareness on mental health challenges is required –as urged by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva ambassador A. L. A. Azeez, who has commended the WHO for initiatives taken to address the subject.

“It is timely that we redoubled our collective efforts to create awareness in places and communities that are beyond the reach of mainstream media, and information or advocacy campaigns. If the objective of the UN Development Agenda 2030 – i.e. to leave no one behind – is to have any practical meaning, the message has to resonate with the people at all levels,” Azeez said while addressing the WHO Mental Health Forum recently.

The intervention made by Azeez focussed on three main points: the need for mental healthcare and delivery of assistance to be holistic; the importance of an inclusive approach that ensures availability of mental healthcare coverage throughout the entire cycle of vulnerability; and the sustainment of a supportive environment that assures security, empathy and care for individuals at risk.

Furthermore, the delegation from Sri Lanka announced that a national healthcare survey is to be conducted in 2020 – to help identify treatment gaps, healthcare seeking patterns and the impact of mental health vulnerability.