The stigmatisation of mental health has long plagued Trinidad and Tobago. Within our society, the negative reactions to persons with mental health diagnoses or mental health disorders continue to give rise to ridicule, scolding, isolation and discrimination which leads to shame and prevents persons from seeking the help they need. The lack of adequate access to community-based treatment, care and support services only adds to the stigma.
In recognition of this, the Office of the Vicar of the Suburban Vicariate has launched a Mental Health Initiative which comprises an effective and responsive team of trained professionals, who will offer and facilitate, not only mental and emotional support but also provide spiritual guidance as well. This initiative is being piloted by and offered to persons within the Suburban Vicariate.
Fortunately, the conversation of mental health awareness is finally open, but there are misconceptions and cultural norms that still need to change, and awareness is the key to start the healing process. We need to learn what it is, why it matters and to recognise the symptoms; after all it is a common illness. Let’s take care of our mental health together. For more information please contact the Office of the Vicar of the Suburban Vicariate at 720-6063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.