“We do not have enough rooms to accommodate long-term rehabilitation patient,” admitted Dr. Constantine Dela Cruz of the Behavioral Health Division of the Ministry of Health, in response to a question why the court had to order defendant to seek substance rehabilitation care off island and not on island.

According to Dr. Dela Cruz, the current facility at the Belau National Hospital only has 10 beds, four of which are reserved for “acutely ill” patients and the other six for regular patients that do not require long term rehabilitation.

“Right now Minister of Health Emais Roberts is in the Philippines looking for a facility there for Palau to refer patients requiring long term rehabilitation care,” stated Dela Cruz.

President declared October 10 Mental Health Awareness Day themed, “Young people, mental health in the changing world”.

Behavioral Advisory Council with Ministry of Health focuses attention on young people’s mental health.

“It is still a taboo subject to talk about mental health issues and we need to remove the stigma associated with it, “said Dr. Dela Cruz.

Number of entities including Faith-based groups, NGOs, Ministry of Justice, Koror State Government, schools and others are linking resources together to target young people and address growing mental health issues in this rapidly changing world. (L.N. Reklai)