Minister for Social Development, Hon. Delma Thomas, is calling for greater acceptance from the public for people who suffer from mental illness and disability.
The Ministry observes May as the Month of the Disabled. The theme for Month of the Disabled is “Creating the Right Environment Through Inclusion and Participation”.
Ann Hopkin, Public Relations Officer of the Grenada Council of the Disabled (GNCD) said, they have included the mentally ill because this year’s theme speaks to inclusion.
One of the activities planned for the month is a walk for the mentally ill, from Westerhall in St David to the St George’s Fish Market.
Minister Thomas said, she knows firsthand what it’s like being discriminated against, since a very close family member suffers from mental illness.
“Personally I can relate to the whole issue of mental illness, because my mother is mentally ill and the whole stigma that we have in our country . Because it’s your mother you are placed in situations where people think or even say you are also”, she said.
“I am happy to be given this responsibility to act in the capacity as Minister for Social Development ,where you deal with all sector of persons not only the disabled, but other aspects of the vulnerable among us, so you can help champion the cause”.
Minister Thomas says, there is a need to create a Nation that cares about the mentally ill and disabled.
“As a Government, we are committed to ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Disabilities, and make people know though you have disabilities you are dignified, and you have rights, and we need to protect the rights and dignity of our disabled people”.
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