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Name-Calling People with Mental Illness Isn’t Helpful

One of the ways mental health stigma is spread is through negative labels and name-calling those with a mental health condition. This can happen no matter where a person falls on the mental health spectrum, whether they have a manageable or severe mental illness, but in all cases, calling people with a mental illness names not a helpful solution to mental illness.

Saints Giles Psychiatric Hospital team leader Taniela Rasavuka is calling on to every Fijians to stop calling the mental health unit as “house of mad, lialia and paqala.”  Mr Rasavuka said the Saints Giles Psychiatric Hospital was for those who needed specialised treatment of serious mental disorders such as major depressive, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“We at the Saint Giles hospitals are trying our best to make our voices heard but we are drowned by the “Stigma that has taken over”.

He said depression and stress was the main causes of mental health disorder in Fiji adding that the Ministry of Health had categorised mental health as a non-communicable disease because they see it as a lifestyle sickness.
He said according to a research carried out by World Health Organisation, one in every four people had mental health disorder.

Instead of jumping to fear-mongering and name-calling of those with mental illness, let’s instead be conscious of the words we’re using, what impact they really have, and work toward providing better treatment options for those with mental illness.

Featured from left : Ms. Litea Vakamoce and Mr Taniela Rasavuka.

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