To mark this year’s National
Mental Health Awareness Day, the Ministry of Health is encouraging everyone to ask one simple question; “Olsem wanem”?

These simple words can make a big difference to someone experiencing distress and may open the door for discussion and support.

Recognizing that mental health is everybody’s business; a simple conversation with a friend or family member recognizes the different ways in which people experience and respond to stress and offers an essential social support to those who may otherwise be suffering in silence.

Minister of Health Toara Daniel stressed that one in four people will experience some form of mental health problem during their lifetime.

The burden of these conditions dramatically impact upon individuals, families, communities and national health and economic systems.

While 14% of the global burden of disease is attributed to this range of disorders, unfortunately it is estimated that as much as 85% of people experiencing compromised mental health in low and middle-income earners such as Vanuatu receive no treatment at all.

Minister Daniel said there are people in Vanuatu who might not detect the signs of being depressed, yet, people are suffering in silence.

The Ministry of Health has published the National Mental Health Policy and Strategic Plan (2016-2020).

This booklet outlines key areas subjected to be addressed within the next five years, including counseling and psycho-social support. READ MORE