[WATCH] PN calls for zero-tolerance policy on mental health stigmatisation

​Adrian Delia said it was society’s duty to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against the stigmatisation of mental health

PN leader Adrian Delia
PN leader Adrian Delia

There are 35,000 people suffering from depression in Malta, and the government should stop playing with people’s lives and offer serious solutions, the opposition said this afternoon.

In a press conference outside Mt Carmel Hospital, Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia called for a zero-tolerance policy against the stigmatisation of mental health issues.

“We as a society would be seriously remiss in our responsibilities if we fail to introduce a zero-tolerance policy which protects mental health patients,” he said.

Delia said the country was expecting more from the government on the matter and noted that the PN had a proud history of introducing successful policies while in government.

“With the World Health Organisation predicting a worldwide pandemic of mental health issues within six years’ time, the time to act is now,” he said.

Mario Galea, PN spokesperson for mental health, said that there were 35,000 people suffering from depression.

“It is worrying that only 70% of depression sufferers seek treatment, when untreated depression is the major cause of suicides around the world,” he said.

Around the world, a person commits suicide every 40 seconds, and the incidence is set to drop to a suicide every 20 seconds, he said.

Galea - who had publicly revealed to be suffering from depression and to be undergoing treatmnent for it, criticised the government for failing to make inroads in health services since winning the election in 2013.

“In that time, the government has failed to open on health centre or day care centre, despite all its talk of improving the community,” he said.

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