September 19, 2018

Cayman Islands Residential Mental Health Facility planning approved

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Plans for a proposed long-term residential mental health facility in the Cayman Islands have been approved by the Central Planning Authority.

The application was considered and approved by the Central Planning Authority on Wednesday, 7 March 2018.

The Ministry of Health, which is building the facility, will now seek building permit approval and to prequalify eligible contractors in April for construction of the facility.

“I am delighted that we have received planning permission for this much-needed and long-awaited facility,” said Minister for . Dwayne Seymour. “We urgently need a fit-for-purpose long-term facility to care for our people who suffer from mental illness. It is time to look after and treat our loved ones here on-island instead of sending them overseas, separated from loved ones for months and sometimes years.”

There is currently no long-term residential mental healthcare facility in the Cayman Islands, so patients are sent abroad for treatment in or the United States.

Many others who require treatment cannot be transferred abroad as they are unable to obtain visas due to criminal convictions. Patients in this position are treated either in the eight-bed mental health unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, incarcerated at H.M.P Northward, or cared for by family members, often under difficult circumstances.

Design and construction costs for the facility were drawn up by Toronto-based Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc., which specialises in the design of  mental health facilities, in collaboration with the Cayman Islands architectural and design firm DDL Studio.

The facility is to be built on 15 acres off High Rock Road in on Crown land already earmarked and approved by Cabinet. The project has been taken forward by the Ministry’s steering group comprised of key stakeholders in government, the health sector and civil society, with the outline business case prepared in 2016 by consultancy firm KPMG.

The design of the new facility will incorporate a main building and nine cottages, each of which can accommodate six patients.

The facility will be funded and run by government, with ground-breaking this summer and the facility scheduled to be completed in the latter part of 2019.

 

Frequently Asked Questions Long-Term Residential Mental Health Facility (

What is a Long-Term Residential Mental Health Facility (LTRMHF)?
This is a residential health care facility where care is provided in a healing environment for adult residents with chronic mental illnesses. Patients will be monitored and get help with their medications and any other support needed in order to stabilise them.

 Why do we need a LTRMHF in the Cayman Islands? The Cayman Islands does not have a LTRMHF. Local residents who require long-term mental healthcare are usually transferred to Jamaica or the United States for treatment or placed in the eight-bed acute care unit at the hospital. The facility is needed here to provide psychiatric care and management, counselling, vocational, educational and social skills training. With this type of care and local supervision, the chances of positive outcomes for residents will increase, allowing residents to eventually develop independent living and employment skills so that they can be reintegrated back into the community.

 What will be the main benefits of having a LTRMHF in the Cayman Islands?
Residents will be able to remain in familiar surroundings, where they will receive treatment and care in a supportive environment and within their own culture, in appropriate conditions and accommodation. Family and friends will be able to visit
regularly, whereas they are often separated for months or years when persons are sent to facilities overseas.

 Where will the LTRMHF be located? The facility will be located on 15 acres of land in East End, close to High Rock.

 What types of residents will be housed at the LTRMHF? The facility will house residents who are chronically mentally ill. Convicted criminals who
are serving a sentence will not be housed at the facility.

 Who will run the facility? The facility will be overseen by the Cayman Islands Government’s Ministry of Health
and operated by a Director with a team of clinical and support staff.

 What will the design of the facility be like?
incorporate a main building and nine cottages, each of which can accommodate six residents. There will also be varied activities such as art
and craft, and other therapeutic activities for residents.

 Will the LTRMHF be a secured premise? The facility is designed to be a home-away-from-home for residents. Residents will not
be confined to their rooms but will be unable to leave the premises.

 How long will residents stay in the facility?
The aim is to treat and reintegrate residents back into the community. The average length of stay per resident is estimated to be between 12 and 18 months, although there will be some persons requiring a longer course of treatment that could exceed 24 months. A few residents will stay indefinitely.

 When will the facility be built and opened? It is anticipated construction will begin on the LTRMH facility in summer 2018, with the
first intake of residents in summer 2019.
For further information contact:
Janett Flynn Senior Policy Advisor Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing Email: Janett.flynn@gov.ky Tel: 244-2374

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  1. Thank you for the chapters

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