Psychiatric facility in the making for mentally challenged

The original article can be found in: The Virgin Islands Standpoint By

The Ministry of Health and Social is concerned about the number of mentally challenged and homeless persons roaming the streets of Road Town.

The issue was raised by a number of residents in Cane Garden Bay during government’s ‘On the Road’ meeting on Monday March 25. Residents brought the issue to the forefront following the recent unprovoked public attack on a woman by a known mentally challenged man.

“As recent as today [March 25], I don’t know if the Ministers are aware a fat boy at Bobby’s slapped up a Spanish woman…These are issues; it was on the news. Suppose he had killed the little Spanish girl,” a resident told Government Ministers.
Another resident spoke about another encounter where tourists were present.
“On my way to Prospect Reef the other day, I was passing at the craft market when a cruise ship was in and I saw four police men were surrounding Eggy, and he had a knife in his hands. They were trying to get it from him. There were quite a lot of tourists around. Is anything going to be done for these mentally challenged or persons who are on drugs; not sure how best to describe…”

In response, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton said it is of concern to him, as he spoke of Government’s plan to use the existing building that houses the Adina Donovan Home (ADH) for a psychiatric facility.

However, the Minister said that this will have to be done when the new elderly home at Spooner’s Estate is completed, which will pave the way for the elderly to no longer be housed at the current location.

“Eggy and others like Eggy are a concern for me as Minister of Health and all of us who are in the healthcare sector of this country. We are building the new Adina Donovan Home which is a complex at Spooner’s. It was our intention to turn the existing facility into a psychiatric facility; that still is the plan so that patients can get the access to decent healthcare from the hospital,” he said.

However, the Minister said due to financial constraints, they are hoping this will be done before the end of this Government’s term.

“…But we are living in some difficulty times where money is becoming difficult and our financial system that we have is constantly under threat, so we have to be prudent and careful how we are doing these things.”

He added, “But we are hoping and it is our plan before our term is up, the old Adina Donovan Home will be turned into a psychiatric hospital for people who are mentally challenged that need a place like that to recuperate.”

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