Mental Health Act Being Amended

This was noted by Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, in a message read by Director, Health Services, Planning and Integration in the Ministry, Dr. Naydene Williams, at the First Caregivers Symposium at the University of Technology (UTech) in Kingston, on June 11. Story Highlights The Mental Health Act of 1997 is being amended to meet international human rights standards and to shift the focus of legislation towards creating a legal framework for providing high-quality, community-based mental health services.This was noted by Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, in a message read by Director, Health Services, Planning and Integration in the Ministry, Dr. Naydene Williams, at the First Caregivers Symposium at the University of Technology (UTech) in Kingston, on June 11.Dr. Tufton said greater prioritisation will be given to the mental health sector in the coming months, and as part of the Ministry’s thrust to improve mental health services, work on the National Mental Health Policy and Strategic Plan is being finalised, using the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan as a template.Mental health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is a ‘state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’.Dr. Tufton commended host of the symposium, UTech College of Health Sciences, for the initiative, which he lauded as an important resource in effectively implementing information systems and research for mental health, as well as facilitating commitment towards collaborative actions.“This is also important since partnerships – whether for resource mobilisation, the execution of projects and programmes or policy formulation or review – are an essential ingredient for ensuring the best possible health outcomes for our people,” he said.He noted that the symposium’s goals align with the new direction of the Ministry, which is reflected not only in the Ministry’s new name, but also the various initiatives under the announced ‘Wellness Agenda’, which embraces a holistic approach to public health.These initiatives include the ‘Wellness at Work’ and ‘Wellness at School’ programmes, together with a home-based Wellness Garden and a ‘Better for You’ menu option in the restaurants. All of these take account of the mental health dimension of wellness, the Minister said.“I have every confidence that participants will succeed in their efforts, helping to inform the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ own next steps in improving mental health in Jamaica,” the Minister said.Under the theme, ‘Supporting Your Own Mental Health as a Caregiver’, the symposium is being held from June 11 to 12. It seeks to improve areas of administration by strengthening leadership and governance.It also seeks to provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive social care services in community-based settings, as well as strengthen the information systems evidence and research for mental health. Dr. Tufton said greater prioritisation will be given to the mental health sector in the coming months, and as part of the Ministry’s thrust to improve mental health services, work on the National Mental Health Policy and Strategic Plan is being finalised, using the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan as a template. The Mental Health Act of 1997 is being amended to meet international human rights standards and to shift the focus of legislation towards creating a legal framework for providing high-quality, community-based mental health services. read more

Minister Announces Work To Be Done At Retirement Disposal Site In St

Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will be placed in a better position to respond to any possible outbreak of fire at the Retirement Disposal Site in Granville, St. James.The last fire broke out at the disposal site on May 18, with smoke affecting sections of the parish as well as neighbouring Hanover.Speaking at a ceremony to announce redevelopment work at the Retirement Disposal site on September 13, the Minister said repairs to 1,500 metres of roadway leading to the disposal site will be done; they will create a designated cell to house tyres; and there will be the installation of drainage pipes to facilitate the movement of water around the facility.“Tyres will be treated in a special way because we know the danger that the tyres pose when a fire is on the landfill,” he said.“The fire brigade is here and the National Water Commission is here and a part of this new dispensation is the installation of three new fire hydrants at separate points across the landfill to assist in case there is a fire,” the Minister added.Another critical measure announced by the Minister is the installation of a 28,000-gallon water tank equipped with an intake valve to release water “to wet and douse the areas.”A new dumper truck purchased from the NSWMA’s own revenue was also handed over. The Minister said the truck will be based at the disposal site and will help to spread covering material that is necessary to prevent fires on a daily basis.A trained response team will be based at the site to check the facility on a daily basis to ensure that fire response mechanisms are put in place when necessary.“We are not only putting in the systems, the response team will have an all terrain vehicle. They will have a closed user group (CUG) telephone system… to ensure that you are in a position to report what is taking place,” Mr. McKenzie said.Two way radios will also be provided to staff as well as fire extinguishers and dry chemicals.Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that to further minimise the impact of fire, over 100 truckloads of top soil will be provided to cover inactive garbage cells at the dump.“The areas will not be left exposed any longer. So, once they are finished with an area they cover it and they move on to a different area. There will be no open sites on the facility. The only sites that will be open is the one that is being actively used on a daily basis,” he noted. Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will be placed in a better position to respond to any possible outbreak of fire at the Retirement Disposal Site in Granville, St. James. Speaking at a ceremony to announce redevelopment work at the Retirement Disposal site on September 13, the Minister said repairs to 1,500 metres of roadway leading to the disposal site will be done; they will create a designated cell to house tyres; and there will be the installation of drainage pipes to facilitate the movement of water around the facility. Story Highlights The last fire broke out at the disposal site on May 18, with smoke affecting sections of the parish as well as neighbouring Hanover. read more