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Gov't mulling 24-hour helpline for children with mental health issues

Friday, October 11, 2019

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ST ANN, Jamaica— The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is looking to set up a 24-hour helpline that will provide support for children with mental health issues.

According to State Minister Alando Terrelonge, the move is in keeping with the Government's focus on promoting good mental health among the nation's youth.

The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) will oversee operation of the helpline.

While speaking at CPFSA's budget planning and quarterly performance review retreat in Ocho Rios on Thursday, Terrelonge noted that a large number of children with behavioural problems suffer from mental health conditions.

“When I look at the statistics, when I look at the writings of the experts, it tells me squarely that there is somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent of the youth in Jamaica that are going through mental health issues,” he said.

The ministry says the CPFSA has been advised to formulate and draft the proposal for the helpline.

He added that the helpline must be a priority so that young people can call any time of day.

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