She told BVI Platinum News on Thursday October 7 that World Mental Health Day will be on October 10, but it will observed today, Friday, October 8 in the territory.
“We are basically bringing awareness to the importance of mental health, especially here in the BVI. Mental health is a big issue everywhere; one in five persons in the world suffers from a mental illness, and mental health is in varying degrees; there are persons who can function and there are persons who have challenges in functioning. You can have anything from anxiety to depression, to bipolar, to schizoaffective; it’s a spectrum of issues so it is just not one thing,” she informed.
She said because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has been affecting the world since March 2020, persons being unemployed and underemployed find it difficult to provide for their families on a daily basis and is one of the top triggers for mental health issues.
“Children who are being stressed by the current schooling situation, doing half online, sometimes in class it is not very conducive to their learning capabilities, they are having challenges with that, and that’s affecting them as well, so we have a number of things affecting the mental health of the territory.”
Pertaining to the inspirational words initiative, Ms. Deane said, student volunteers from the Alexandrina Maduro, Elmore Stoutt, Cedar, St. Georges primary and secondary and Willard Wheatley Primary Schools were engaged in penning the uplifting words.
“We are trying to target the more common footpaths in the Road Town area, so we have them outside Nagico, La Douce Vita, on the Vanterpool/Clovers stretch, we have them on the Bobby’s and Noel Lloyd Park areas, the Admin Drive. We expect to raise awareness, we expect that they read a quote or an inspirational or motivational sentence that may inspire them and uplift their day and also sensitize them to other persons who have challenges with their mental health,” she stated.
According to Ms. Deane, today, between 10 am to 2 pm, they will be in town near Bobby’s Parking Lot and also close to Clovers, distributing information on mental health and mental wellness.
There will be a Silly Hat Fiesta Challenge held today, where persons can win prizes such as spa treatments and clothing articles.
To participate, residents must wear a silly hat, post their photos on social media, along with #BVIWorldMentalHealthDay, #BVIHatsForMentalHealth and #BVISillyHats.
The theme for this year is “mental health in an unequal world.”