The Health and Wellness Ministry says it could take up to 10-years before there are adequate systems in place to address the mental health needs of Jamaica’s children.
Director of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Dr. Judith Leiba says she accepts that the systems are inadequate.
She says, ideally, each parish should have at least one Psychologist and a Social Worker.
A daily newspaper has reported that approximately 46-thousand Jamaican children are being afflicted by some type of severe mental health disorder that requires immediate intervention.
However, the Health and Wellness Ministry is reporting that in 2018, only about 4-thousand affected children were seen at the child guidance clinics.
Dr. Leiba says the most common mental health illnesses affecting children are depression, conduct disorder, learning disorders, attention deficit disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
And, she says there are only three clinics across the island dedicated to responding to these mental health needs.
Dr. Judith Leiba, Director of Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
She was speaking last evening during Nationwide @ 5 with Tyrone Reid and Kemesha Kelly.