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Mental health tops Seychelles’ agenda at Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meeting

« Mental health issues are not issues that affect the ‘other’ people.  They are issues that affect all of us at different moments in our lives, » said Health Minister Jean Paul today, Sunday 19th May at the Commonwealth Health Minister’s meeting taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, in the margins of the World Health Assembly.

Minister Adam was speaking on the issue of mental health and disability following assistance the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation gave to Seychelles to review its mental health law.

“That assistance has helped Seychelles align the new mental health legislation with the requirements of the the Convention On The Rights Of People Living With Disability,” said the health minister.

Seychelles ratified that convention in 2009.

Minister Adam also outlined how the new mental health law will contribute to leaving no one behind, in line with the requirements of the sustainable development goals.

“Children, young people and elderly with mental illnesses and other groups stigmatized as a result of mental illnesses will have their rights to proper health and social support further recognized and ensured through the new legislation,” added Minister Adam.

Also present at the Geneva meeting was the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland and the Director General for the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanonm Gebreyesus who delivered the key note address on universal health coverage.

Seychelles’ new mental health bill is now in the National Assembly and is scheduled for a second reading soon.

Seychelles delegation to the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting also included the Principal Secretary, Dr Bernard Valentin, the Special Advisor to the Minister, Dr Loren Reginald, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Susan Fock Tave and Seychelles Charge d’Affaires to the United Nations in Geneva, Ms Gayethri Pillay.