St Vincent Health Ministry pledges to fix Mental Health Sector

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
Senior Nursing Officer at the Mental Health Centre, Diana Bailey, has pledged to meet the challenges at the institution. She asserted that the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is taking a proactive approach as it relates to remedying the mental health situation in the country.

One of the major initiatives mentioned by Bailey is the current upgrade of the Mental Health Centre which is expected to be completed by October this year. She informed that as a result of the upgrade that the patients had to be temporarily relocated.

Bailey highlighted that overcapacity at the Mental Health Centre over the years, posed a number of challenges. She noted that the institution was intended to serve as a facility to treat persons with mental illness, have them recover, and reintegrate into their homes and communities. Nonetheless, according to Bailey, many persons with mental illness, who had recovered, have been rejected and abandoned by their families, at times when they needed them most.

Although Bailey is aware that there are some families who have challenges regarding the care of their relatives after they have been discharged from the facility, she stressed that the institution is overburdened with the demands of housing persons who have long histories of substance abuse and mental illness.

President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association (SVGHRA), Nicole Sylvester said that the SVGHRA had received reports that the conditions at the institution, in some cases were severely unsanitary, and she called for an investigation into the accusations. Sylvester added that mentally challenged persons are vulnerable and required special care, and must to be treated in a dignified manner.

Sylvester said that if the allegations were true, they must be dealt with. She revealed that in light of these reports, the SVGHRA intends to visit the relocated facility and carry out assessments.

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