Family support is key for mental health recovery

Family support is key for mental health recovery


DILI, 11 october 2022 (TATOLI) – The Psychiatrist at the Acute Care Unit of the Guido Valadares National Hospital (HNGV), Edmundo Monteiro, highlighted the importance of family support for the recovery of patients from mental health illnesses.

“It is critical for the patients to have support from family members to recover from mental health disorders. This is an important key. Some cases of psychological strain do not need medication, but just need the support of the family. Without medication and family support, the conditions get worse,” Monteiro told Tatoli, in Dili.

The psychiatrist said that the health team provides counseling to the relatives of mental health patients so that they can follow their treatments on a daily basis.

Monteiro said the health team regularly advises the patients’ relatives to follow up on their treatment.

He said that within their own families, patients are discriminated against and treated badly.

“The family doesn’t take care of them and sometimes abandons them. So, it is common to find people with mental disorders on the roadsides. It indicates that stigma and discrimination start in the family and the societies,” he said.

Monteiro said that genetics, economic dependence, and unemployment are the common factors for the increase in the number of people suffering from mental disorders in the country.

“When it comes to mental health, we are not only focusing on the aggressive, which the number is lower, but we also attend to those with depression, stress, and suicidal tendencies. Patients with suicidal tendencies are mostly women who have psychological pressure from their own family,” he added.

In 2019, the Acute Care Unit registered more than 80 patients per month, but the number rose to 145, in 2022.

WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh said that in the South-East Asia Region, an estimated 1 in 7 people lived with a mental health condition, and in countries where data are available, the treatment gap ranged from 70-95%.

Singh called on the Member States in the South-East Asia Region, including Timor-Leste to intensify action to achieve access for all to quality mental health care, in line with the recently adopted Paro Declaration on universal access to people-centered mental health care and services.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10, for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma.

The day was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.




Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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