The Gibraltar Mental Welfare Society has written to Minister Samantha Sacramento, welcoming her to her new post and wishing her well in her role as Health Minister.
In their email of the 1st September, the Society reminded the Minister that the 2019 Mental Health audit has still not been published and neither has the Mental Health Board 2020 report. Her predecessor, Minister Balban, said in an interview on GBC on 11th June, that both reports would definitely be published in a few weeks’ time. Three months on this has not happened. The GMWS expressed the hope to the new Minister that both audit and report would finally come to light under her Ministry. We are waiting to hear back.
The Society is aware that some improvements are taking place in the system because we have regular meetings with mental health professionals. Nonetheless, we consider it essential to have these documents in the public domain so that we all know what is going on. Access to these publications is crucial when it comes to knowing whether the right measures are being taken by those in authority, and crucial in holding them accountable.
The GMWS continues to receive feedback from service users who are still very unhappy about aspects of the mental health provision in Gibraltar. In order to have the best chance of getting a system which works effectively for all, the professionals and the related NGOs have to work together with honesty and transparency. Holding back on publishing audits is not a good way of achieving this and seems to suggest that the Government has something to hide on the matter.