Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar chaired Wednesday a meeting of the National Council for Mental Health to set controls and mechanisms to implement the National Mental Health initiative and to discuss a strategy for spreading the culture of mental health among all age groups of society.
The meeting also discussed a plan to expand mental health facilities and adopt a future vision to improve the situation of mental patients. It also discussed the financial and investment aspects of the council to benefit from in plans to expand mental health services and raise their efficiency.
During the meeting, the minister said that the Ministry of Health and Population is currently adopting a specific strategy with international standards, to develop the mental health file, in a way that guarantees to facilitate Egyptian citizens’ access to psychological support services.
He further directed the need to intensify the implementation of programs and campaigns to raise awareness of mental health for students in schools and universities, which contributes to the upbringing of new generations who are psychologically healthy.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, indicated that the minister stressed the importance of mental health as one of the factors for the progress of societies, so he directed the necessity of conducting field studies, to identify the influences that cause anxiety and depression, and to develop a specific plan that would alleviate the symptoms of mental illness to preserve the health of citizens.
The minister directed the necessity of cooperation with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, by establishing a project for care homes for the elderly, subject to the health supervision of the Ministry of Health and Population, to reduce the burden on mental health hospitals affiliated with the Ministry of Health.
He also directed cooperation to reactivate the committee to study the growing demand for addiction treatment, stressing the provision of all means of support and capabilities necessary for the sustainability of mental health systems.