‘It’s okay not to be okay, but you should not walk this path alone’ – Lydia Abela

Addressing the International Conference on Mental Health in Brussels, the Prime Minister’s wife Lydia Abela, said no one should bear the burden of suffering alone shrouded in isolation

Lydia Abela speaking in Brussels
Lydia Abela speaking in Brussels

In our respective communities, no one should bear the burden of suffering alone, shrouded in isolation, the Prime Minister’s wife Lydia Abela said on Tuesday.

Addressing the International Conference on Mental Health in Brussels, Abela spoke of the progress made in Malta regarding mental health, but she also called for continued efforts and collaboration in the field.

The conference, attended by dignitaries and experts from various nations, provided a platform for discussing critical mental health issues on this important day. 

Abela highlighted the silent struggles faced by individuals dealing with mental health challenges, emphasising the collective responsibility to raise awareness and offer support. 

She praised Malta's Mental Health Strategy, focusing on building resilience and transforming services, and the plans to construct a new psychiatric hospital, while also mentioning the introduction of more mental health services within the community.

"We proudly advocate that it's 'okay not to be okay,' and that no one should ever walk this path alone," Abela said.

Abela recognised the vital role played by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and called upon the European Union to strengthen its commitment to support these organizations.

She stressed the need to create inclusive environments in societies and workplaces for individuals with disabilities. She questioned whether they should not have the same opportunities as others.

Addressing the role of sports in mental health, Abela highlighted Special Olympics Malta, an organisation she chairs, which empowers individuals with disabilities through sports. 

She emphasised the preventive aspect of sports in mental health and how it can boost motivation and provide a positive focus in life.

"At Special Olympics, we truly believe in the extraordinary capabilities of these young individuals, as we help them unlock their full potential and achieve remarkable heights they may have never envisioned before," Abela said.

She concluded by underscoring the importance of openly discussing mental health and seeking help as a sign of strength.

"In the grand tapestry of life, we often focus on our physical well-being, but we must remember that mental health is just as essential," Abela said.