Strong plea to address mental health issues

Barbadian youth advocate Pierre Cooke has called on Director-General of the World Health Organisation Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to prioritise mental health as part of their global agenda.

Addressing an international audience of health ministers and other health officials at the SIDS Ministerial Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health yesterday, Cooke said policymakers at the conference had “hard decisions to make”.

“I am calling on our governments to step up to the plate and put your money where your mouth is. Put your money where your promises were and respect the rights of your citizens. All of us have the right to health,” Cooke admonished ministers of health and policymakers from around the world discussing the health issues in the three-day conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

He moved the audience and evoked applause with his impassioned plea for the cries of young people to be heard and for their participation to be solicited in decision-making, reminding the policymakers the decisions they made would affect his generation and successive generations. (GC)