TALK ABOUT IT: Youth parliamentarians say mental health is not emphasized enough

TALK ABOUT IT: Youth parliamentarians say mental health is not emphasized enough
The House of Assembly, Parliament Square, Downtown Nassau.

By Marley Johnson

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Youth parliamentarians zeroed in on mental health illness while discussing important national issues on Friday.

Shekinah Moncur, the representative for Golden Isles, said: “Mental Health is not a topic that is emphasized enough or talked about in our country.”

The Youth in Parliament event returned Friday from a two-year hiatus. The event kicked off with participants discussing why mental health matters.

Moncur said mental health medication should be made affordable and available to people suffering from mental health illnesses.

She also emphasized that mental health illness does not look or present a certain way, adding that people with smiles on their faces may also be suffering from h mental health illnesses.

At a press conference on Monday, Youth Minister Mario Bowleg said young people must be given a platform to discuss national issues such as mental health. In keeping with his wishes, participants took turns voicing their opinions and thoughts on this matter.

Bringing Awareness

North Eleuthera representative Don Johnson Jr called for more funding to implement more mental health institutions on the Family Islands. In an interview before the session, Saunders told Eyewitness News he always had a passion for voicing his ideas.

Golden Gates representative Kyara Reva Rolle said: “The stigma and lack of mental health literacy impacts everyone!”

She told Eyewitness News earlier this week that mental health illness is a prevalent issue that youth should be more aware of how it could possibly affect them.

The representative for North Andros and the Berry Islands Isaac Barr suggested schools can be used to bring more awareness to mental health issues.