Like a pandemic: Empower Pacific CEO says mental health, psychosocial support services neglected for long

Empower Pacific CEO Patrick Morgam at his office in Waya Street Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FT FILE

MENTAL health and psychosocial support services have for long been neglected or not taken into account and is becoming like a pandemic now, says Empower Pacific CEO Patrick Morgam.

The Lautoka-based NGO says it has requested Government to look at increasing funding allocations in this area when the 2023-2024 National Budget is announced at the end of the month.

“This is a major request, the need to support and help people with issues,” he said.

“We see now that there are quite a lot of attempted suicide cases being reported and just last year in our helpline, there was a notable increase in the number of people reaching out for help.”

Mr Morgam said the Government had been supporting the NGO through the provision of counselling services in government hospitals and they’ve also received grants from the Health Ministry.

However, with the wide scope of work they’ve conducted, the grant was not enough to cover the whole range of service they provided.

Mr Morgam said that while they understood the situation Government was faced with in terms of huge debt burden, they also needed to understand the needs of the people and the fact they were suffering.

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