The President Constitutes the National Mental Health Department

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih constituted the National Mental Health Department under the Ministry of Health on Thursday. The new department was established under the discretion vested in the President by Section 116 of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives.

According to a directive by the President’s Office, the number 489 should be used in all correspondence addressed to the new authority as per the numbering system for state agencies.

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Enforcement of a mental health national policy and strategic plan was one of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s electoral pledges. As such, a number of key policy changes and activities have been carried out since the commencement of his term.

Notably, the country’s first mental health centre at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) was inaugurated, and mental health coverage has been included under ‘Aasandha’, the universal health insurance scheme. Moreover, mental health services have been expanded at Hulhumalé Hospital with the opening of the Mental Health Center in October – whereas the service is also available at the five tertiary hospitals under development across the country.

Earlier this month, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also launched the National Social and Behaviour Change Communications Strategy on Prevention and Promotion of Mental Health and campaign. Launched with the incentive of addressing 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 ‘Kihineh?’ campaign is a one-year campaign.

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