Organizations mark World Mental Health Day
By The Star Staff
Under the slogan “Let Go, Get Busy and Smile,” organizations dedicated to providing mental health services in Puerto Rico celebrated World Mental Health Day with a meeting on the south side of the Capitol on Monday.
“To have gathered here … is a great achievement; it is something that fills us with joy and offers hope that we can impact the population on the importance of ‘October is Mental Health Awareness Month,” said the head of the Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA), Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Mateo.
“It seems to me that this is a very positive response to the effort we are all making to address the problems faced by the population affected by hurricanes, earthquakes, and the COVID pandemic, which has caused an increase in drug use, suicide attempts, and above all, the manifestation of depressive conditions in the population, which lives a stressful life,” he added.
The organizations gathered in San Juan were Hospital San Juan Capestrano, ASSMCA, Mennonite Health System-CIMA, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, Pavia Metro System and Hospital Panamericano.
The San Juan Capestrano System, in coordination with Toro Verde Urban Park, has developed a project to reach the population of young people, who are the most vulnerable, using the tools offered by the challenges of adventure, exercise, games and direct contact with nature.
“As part of the S.O.S. Movement for Mental Health, we will be offering workshops and mental health assessment clinics for the general public” on the last three Fridays in October, said Marta Rivera Plaza, CEO of Sistema San Juan Capestrano.
On Oct. 14 and 28, San Juan Capestrano will offer workshops at the T-Mobile District’s Toro Verde Urban Park facilities. On Oct. 21, citizens can gather at the Cabo Rojo Public Plaza and receive services free of charge as part of a campaign to help those impacted by Hurricane Fiona.
“We urge anyone who feels the need for help to come to these clinics so that our team of mental health professionals can provide support and services confidentially and free of charge,” Rivera Plaza said.