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16 April 2018


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A dire situation for PNG.

I recently compiled a chapter around the issue of mental health service delivery in PNG and was extremely saddened to discover the defunct and limited in-patient and community care available.

Shocking is the data in relation to the treatment gap for those seeking professional help -- and this is in the urban areas alone. It is distressing to know the implications this has for the rural population.

Utmost respect for the MH professionals working in PNG, doing as much as they can with the limited resources and professional support for their own self-care.

Health promotion, especially mental health, promotion needs urgent investment by the government.

Feed it to the pigs even.

Happiest pigs in the world.

Well Phil, that might have something to do with the fact that everywhere you go on the Indian Sub Continent there is a particular weed those grows in profusion.

You might like to investigate the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan.

They've stopped measuring the state of their nation using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and now use Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) as a benchmark.

It was an idea first introduced by their king.

One of the biggest problems in today's world is drug addiction. This is not anything new but it attracts the attention of the world media as it is a convenient and dramatic subject to pursue.

Primarily, when confronted with a problem, most world politicians inevitably resort to spending money and funding supposedly controls.

The answer is not more legislation but as is discussed in this article, understanding why the problem exists at all?

Attacking the illegal sources and distribution of drugs is also an easy method to demonstrate someone is actually doing something but if this is effective, how come the problem is never actually fixed?

A self evident truth is that without policing, the problem might be worse, however the US attempt at control and outlawing alcohol in the Prohibition Era demonstrates that if people want to partake of something illegal, they will find a way to do so and in the process, fund those criminals who supply what people want irrespective of whether it is illegal.

It's been postulated that some people are naturally more addicted to various substances more than others. While this may be true, the real cause of most of today's use of drugs of addiction is a perceived need for an easy fix to forget about life's painful difficulties.

This is where there is no easy fix. Most political leaders therefore fail to engage in any long term answer is because there is no short term solution that can be boasted about in the media.

Understanding why the problem exists in the first place is the first step along a very long road. Being prepared to listen and discuss a person's problems is a good start to understanding how to defeat an addiction. It doesn't unfortunately create a sensational achievement or a quick fix.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy otherwise everyone would be doing it. The issue must be looked at in an holistic way and understanding the issues is the first step.

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