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Centres to improve mental well-being

"All the good things for development of mental health will be continued improving the present status, said Director of Mental Healthcare of the Health Ministry Dr. Lakshmi Somatunga addressing the National Mental Health Forum - 2009 held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.

She added, "I hope development of community support centres is a milestone step towards improving the status of mental well-being of the people in this country.

My concern is to develop the standards in these centres such as providing human resources and infrastructure facilities. We are the national focal point for alcohol control and suicide prevention.

So we need to have campaigns similar to that of tobacco control campaigns. An information system for mental health is also vital in improving the mental health services." she said.

She said she wished to give due attention to community based approaches.

WHO Representative to Sri Lanka Dr. Mehta said the WHO had given immense support to improve the status of mental well-being of Sri Lankans in the past and promotion of mental well-being is the priority and target."

"Mental health is something that is neglected all over the world, 450 million people are suffering from enormous mental diseases. The WHO is fully committed to supporting people towards this endeavour.

National Tobacco/Alcohol Authority Chairman Professor Carlo Fonseka, said one to have a healthy mind, the physical well-being of a person is important, though the mind is separate from the body.

A healthy diet combined with favourable behavioural attitudes such as getting regular physical exercises and avoidance of stress, alcohol and tobacco is essential.

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