President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih launched on Monday the “Kihineh?” campaign—the National Social and Behaviour Change Communications Strategy on Prevention and Promotion of Mental Health. The strategy and campaign were launched as part of the administration’s policy on preventing and promoting mental health at a function held in Dharubaaruge.
Addressing the function, the President reiterated that since day one, the administration has accorded high priority to ensuring the people’s mental, emotional, social, and physical well-being. He stated that the administration had ensured inclusive physical and mental healthcare services for every citizen without discrimination.
Speaking about the importance of identifying mental health problems early, the President noted the importance of seeking assistance and starting treatment at an early stage. He added that the “Kihineh?” campaign would promote social and behavioural change around the current perceptions and attitudes towards mental health.
The President also highlighted the role of family, friends, and society in supporting and helping people with mental health problems.
The President also spoke about the administration’s efforts to prevent and promote mental health. In March 2019, the President inaugurated the country’s first mental health centre at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). Mental health coverage has been included under the universal health insurance scheme “Aasandha.”
Mental health services have since been expanded at Hulhumalé Hospital with the opening of the Mental Health Center on October 10, 2022. The service is also available at the five tertiary hospitals under development across the country.
The “Kihineh?” campaign aims to address the high levels of stigma attached to mental health and related issues, promote awareness and understanding of these issues, and create a more tolerant, nurturing, and compassionate community. The administration launched the one-year campaign in partnership with UNICEF Maldives.
The function was attended by Vice President Faisal Naseem, cabinet ministers, the UNICEF Representative to the Maldives, Mr Paulo Sassarao, and officials from UNICEF and government offices and institutions.