PHILIPSBURG:--- The Mental Health Foundation held its annual celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, 2018 at the John Larmonie Center. The 3-hour event focused on youth mental health issues like addition as one of the most important challenges facing the future society of St. Maarten.
According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders are the single most common cause of disability in young people. 70% of mental disorders onset prior to the age of 25, making the adolescent years a critical window in which mental health can be promoted, and mental health problems can be addressed.
When every-day problems are neglected, this can leave young people feeling socially isolated and stigmatized. Without knowledge or attention, these seemingly harmless problems can turn into mental disorders later-on and enable them to optimize their social, vocational, and interpersonal contributions to society.
The Mental Health Foundation strongly believes there needs to be immediate, increased investment in identification of early-onset mental disorders and effective early intervention programs to deliver appropriate care to the youth on St. Maarten.
The event was held in collaboration with the Turning Point Foundation and AUC Medical School and focused on addiction specifically. In a playful manner, a dialogue was opened and information was provided. There was music, free food + drinks, games, information booths and many other prizes to be won. The organization would also like to say a big thank you to Tri-Sport who donated a big part of the prizes for the event.