With a dearth in psychologists and psychiatric professionals in the country, Primary healthcare doctors are being trained to detect and treat persons suffering from mental health complications brought on by the pandemic, says Guyana’s Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony.

“We don’t have enough psychologists and psychiatric doctors to be able to reach out to everybody who might need that assistance. One of the things we have been doing is to train primary healthcare doctors, so that they can recognize signs and symptoms of mental health challenges that people might have. He said that by expanding that pool of people, we are confident that we’ll be able to detect more cases and offer more help,” the Minister said during his daily update today.

He said that a number of professionals have already started to put their training into use with the primary heathcare setting.

Apart from that, the Minister said that government recently launched a 24-hour hotline dedicated to providing assistance to persons experiencing mental health challenges. He added that more measures will be rolled out in the various regions shortly.

The “Safe Space” 24-hour hotline is an initiative made possible through a collaboration between the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) Company and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). It aims to provide access to support for persons who are unable to have face-to-face interactions.
PAHO donated three cellular phones to the initiative, while GTT facilitated the toll-free hotline.
If you or a loved one is struggling, call 655 – 7233 (655-safe) for help. The hotline is accessible to everyone free of cost.


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