As the new year gets underway, Jamaicans are being implored to take care of their mental health and to seek help if overwhelmed, depressed, or unable to cope.
The advice came from Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, in his address to the nation on New Year’s Day (January 1).
“Find someone to talk to. We Jamaicans tend to think of ourselves as tough, ‘tallawah’, able to take on and defeat challenges greater than ourselves. However, over time, this tough attitude has led to an ineffective response to personal and social trauma in our lives,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that the two-year disruption in routine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has had “untold and yet-to-be-understood impacts on mental and physical health and social behaviours”.
He lamented that violence has become a normalised response in Jamaicans’ interactions and called on citizens to make a change in the new year, in this regard.
“We can change this by making a resolution, this year, to be gentler with one another, kinder to each other, more forgiving and more loving,” Mr. Holness encouraged.
The prime minister further called on Jamaicans to “not abandon caution” where COVID-19 is concerned, as “there is always a lingering threat or consideration of a spike in COVID cases or a new virus emerging”.
The prime minister, in welcoming 2023, gave thanks to God for shepherding Jamaica through 2022.
“We look forward to all the opportunities the new year presents with a spirit of hope, optimism, determination, and faith,” he said.