First Lady Fazna Emphasized on Mental Health Support

On Wednesday, June 22nd, First Lady Fazna Ahmed emphasized the importance of mental health support, citing international events like conflicts that drive up living costs and climate change that continue to cause many people to experience severe levels of anxiety and depression. On the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda, she delivered the remarks during her virtual address at the high-level roundtable on "Rethinking Mental Health: A Commonwealth Call to EMPOWER, Care and Transform."
The First Lady and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih left Wednesday night for Kigali to attend the meeting on June 20–25, 2022. The Commonwealth's guiding principle of promoting access to affordable healthcare and eliminating significant disparities and unequal living standards is echoed in "Rethinking Mental Health: A Commonwealth Call to EMPOWER, Care and Transform."
First Lady discussed the difficulties the Maldives faces in providing services and care for patients with mental health conditions in her remarks at the event. The First Lady emphasized the limited availability of mental health professionals, the dispersion of Maldives islands, difficulties in recruiting, and lengthy waiting lists while highlighting significant gaps in mental health systems around the world.
Moreover, First Lady also praised the actions taken, such as the adoption of the National Mental Health Strategic Plan, to advance mental health services throughout the nation. The national universal health insurance program will be expanded to include mental health illnesses in order to ensure comprehensive and effective psychosocial support. In March 2019, the administration also opened the Centre for Mental Health at the publicly funded Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
Madam Fazna also discussed the significance of enhancing mental health services and eliminating stigma, claiming that doing so encourages a greater proportion of people to seek assistance, remain in school, receive treatment, and learn how to advance in their careers and lives. She also demanded increased funding for mental health services, open access for all, research, and measures to ensure that professionals uphold a strict code of ethics.