Vatican official calls for better care of mentally ill
Published: October 10, 2005
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- More needs to be done to help the mentally ill and to support programs of early diagnosis and prevention of mental illness, said a top Vatican official. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, head of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, appealed to public health officials worldwide "to find urgently needed help" for those with mental disorders. Many of these people are "on the streets or with their families where they cannot receive the (proper medical) help they need," he said in his message for World Day of Mental Health celebrated Oct. 10. He asked that health and government officials make mental health care more accessible and equitable and that treatment be "in full respect for the integrity and dignity of the sick." According to the World Health Organization, some 450 million people worldwide suffer from a mental disorder and 873,000 people commit suicide each year, the cardinal said in his text.
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