Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Honourable Edmund Bartlett has announced that his Ministry and the Ministry of Health and Wellness will begin to collaborate in the area of mental health resilience. The announcement follows a mental health workshop that was spearheaded by the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Visitor Relations Unit at Iberostar in Montego Bay.
Speaking to hotel and tourism stakeholders, Minter Bartlett highlighted that, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had some psychosocial impact that the world has not fully quantified. Many persons have lost loved ones and have been displaced which has brought on mental health issues. Coupled with these issues is the supply change disruptions that we are facing. So, as part of our drive for a stronger recovery and to build resilience, these elements must be managed properly to ensure that we do not end up with worse disruptions than the pandemic itself.”
Data has shown there has been an increase in mental health cases since the onset of the pandemic. The workshop was done to bring stakeholders and mental health professionals tother to help create effective strategies to mitigate these cases.
“I will begin immediate consultation with my colleague Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, to devise a strategy to support the sector in managing mental health cases. Already I believe there could be special centers set up across the sector to provide access to information to help build capacity,” added Minister Bartlett.
“As a destination, it is important that we are prepared for these types of cases and as our visitor numbers increase it is more imperative that we build capacity in order to better manage,” said Regional Director at the Jamaica Tourist Board, Mrs. Odette Soberam-Dyer.
These mental health workshops will be held across resort areas with several tourism stakeholders in a bid to increase inclusivity and gain more industry insight and best practices.