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Middle class seeking mental help at clinics

TRE GREAVES, [email protected]

Middle class seeking mental help at clinics

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The tough economic times have been heavy on the minds of the upper middle class.

So much so that many of them have resorted to using public health care facilities to address their mental health concerns.

Psychiatrist Dr Jo-Ann Brathwaite-Drummond was speaking at Mass Monday yesterday, on the first day of Health Week at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, where she stressed the importance of people taking care of their minds.

She listed stressors such as changes in life, including death, job loss, promotions, planning big events like weddings and socio-economic pressures as some of the most taxing, but it was because of the latter that people were filling up her polyclinic sessions.

“People are not coping because of the financial pressures and when persons can’t afford to go privately, then they go to the public system. And I’m seeing colleagues, attorneys and lots of persons that people would never think would come to a polyclinic for mental health care because it’s just not affordable for them to seek private care,” she said.

During her address, Brathwaite-Drummond also made a plea to employers, who she said needed to pay closer attention to looking after their workers’ mental health.

She said one-off interventions were not enough and, if not dealt with effectively, there could be detrimental effects such as decreased productivity and loss of life, which she said also affected the functioning of the family, the community and the nation.

She, however, acknowledged that might be easier said than done due to costs.

“One of the things that has been a challenge as well has been getting funding for dealing with mental health issues.” (TG)