Local Psychologist Anju Vivekanandaraj says mental health education needs to start at a young age to create a society where mental illness is less taboo.
Psychologist Anju Vivekanandaraj believes that more awareness is needed in the area of mental health so that open discussion can become more normalised.
Anju Vivekanandaraj is a Clinical psychologist, EQ Practitioner and Founder of Inner Peace Psychotherapy & Counseling Services
She further notes awareness and education must start at a young age, to raise a healthier society.
“We need to start at that earlier level in imparting the importance of mental health, just like the physical health, and also teaching them about the various mental illnesses, how to identify them with the various symptoms they might be going through or experiencing and when this aspect is being included in the school curriculum I would say that the children will learn to accept and normalise mental illnesses from a very early age.”
Vivekanandaraj adds this will also help teach children not to bully or stigmatise others who may be going through mental health struggles.
She also notes there is a need for more mental health facilities. Currently Guyana has the New Amsterdam National Psychiatric Hospital and Guyana Public Hospital National Psychiatric Hospital.
“We need to have more facilities in our societies that can deal with mental illnesses and that can cater to different groups of communities. From different backgrounds, different financial backgrounds that can have more accessible and affordable mental health treatments.”