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Mental Health Stakeholder Engagement in Honiara

December 10, 2014

The Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services hosted a Mental Health Stakeholder Forum with Asia Australia Mental Health in Honiara on 29 October, 2014. The aim was to create opportunities for open dialogue with a range of mental health stakeholders about practical, feasible and achievable integrative model for delivering mental health care in Solomon Islands.

Well attended with representation from health and justice services as well as family support, Church and Youth organisations, the forum focused on partnerships in Solomon Island communities that lie at the heart of good mental health service provision. At the start of the day, the group set the goals and expectations for the dialogue to increase understanding/ awareness of mental health issues, to improve mental health care/ services and to work better together for mental health.

The workshop program, chaired by Mr. Stephen Araitaiwa of Mental Health Unit, included a situational analysis- looking at the current reality of mental health system and challenges in Solomon Islands and delivery of services in the provinces. Presentations from Professor Chee Ng outlined recent global trends in mental health and evidence based policy changes, were complemented with the national perspectives presented by Dr. Paul Orotoala from the Mental Health Unit.   Information on the local service provision was also presented by mental health team in provincial positions at Kilufi Hospital (Mr. Jack Kaota) and Tulagi Hospital (Mr. Stanley Kioniau).

Participants reported that the opportunity to share ideas was one of the best aspects of the forum. During small group work, participants valued experience, different perspectives and the range of resources that could be identified by the stakeholders.

This program was made possible through partnership with Australian Aid and the Public Sector Linkages Program.