October 1, 2022

iNews Briefs & Message from Cayman Minister on World Mental Health Day

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world-mental-dayWorld Mental Health Day Message

From Minister of Health Hon Osbourne Bodden, JP.

Each year on 10th October, the international community encourages stakeholders to talk about their work on mental health issues. A particular concern worldwide is the need to increase access to mental healthcare.

Here in the Cayman Islands, which we so often characterise as paradise, we must understand that we face a similar challenge. Those people whom our community knows to be suffering from mental illness are not outliers, who might have avoided their fate by making different lifestyle choices.

While drug use is indeed a risk factor for mental illness, we must remember that addiction is also an illness, from which persons need considerable support and treatment to recover. It can also be a symptom of mental illness, as persons self-medicate.

Yet there are many other challenges that we all face in our daily lives, which increase the risk of mental illness. Some less well-known pre-disposing factors include:

  • Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one’s death or divorce;
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as cancer;
  • Traumatic experiences, such as military combat or being assaulted;
  • Having few healthy relationships; and
  • Brain damage as a result of a serious injury, such as a violent blow to the head.

Any these things might impact any of us, or those we love, in a manner that is beyond our control. Were mental illness to result, the best that we could hope for would be prompt access to effective mental healthcare.

This year’s theme focuses on a particular illness— with which our local experts are quite familiar.  In 2010, 110 persons accessing mental health services at the Health Services Authority were found to be “living with schizophrenia”. This represents seven percent of the total figure receiving mental healthcare.

For those who are not aware schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking that affect language, perception, and the sense of self. The 2010 figure was a slight increase over 2006, when 96 patients suffered from schizophrenia.

The World Health Organisation tells us that the disease affects around 26 million people across the world. Despite being treatable, more than half of people with the illness cannot access adequate treatment. Furthermore 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia live in the developing world.

This statistic is especially unfortunate. Although it is a severe mental disorder, which disrupts people’s lives and impedes their functioning, those who suffer from schizophrenia can, with treatment, lead productive lives and be integrated in society.

The Cayman Islands is an extremely small community with limited resources that boasts services on par with the developing world. As such it is paramount that we ensure that we do not become part of the global statistic.

Government’s duty is to ensure that our citizens and residents who suffer from this and other forms of mental illness have equal access to healthcare and any other essential service they may require. We must also ensure that society employs the same respect for their rights and responsibilities, as it would towards a healthy person.

For this reason Government launched the Mental Health Commission under the leadership of Dr Marc Lockhart, earlier this year. This group of professionals aims to protect the rights of the persons detained under the Mental Health Law. They will also make recommendations on ways to improve the local mental health system, and engage in advocacy, research and training programmes to reduce stigma and discrimination.

The Commission, Government, service providers, stakeholders and the general public all have a part to play in securing this vision—as those who work in the profession are particularly cognizant.

To this end, the Psychiatric & Behavioural Health Services (PBHS) Unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital has planned a number of activities to raise awareness of mental health concerns.  From panel discussions, to movie screenings, information sessions, a church service and even a tai chi demonstration, PBHS has planned a range of public events to increase awareness of local mental health challenges.

Their goal is to create a society in which regardless of the state of our mental health, we are all assured of access to the best possible care and our continued enjoyment of basic human rights.

This is a worthy vision, that we must all work together to achieve. My Ministry looks forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders and with the general public to achieve these goals.


Cayman Islands public meeting called on Ebola virus

The Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar invites all residents from the West African Countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and other interested members of the public to a general awareness and travel advisory meeting on the current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease.

The awareness meeting is being held at the Cayman Islands Hospital Hibiscus Conference room (next to the Pink Ladies Cafeteria) on Monday, 13 October 2014 at 5:30 pm.

For further information call the Public Health Department on 244-2621.


Justice Kennedy blocks gay marriage ruling in Idaho, Nevada

From Newsmax

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Wednesday temporarily blocked an appeals court ruling that declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada.

Kennedy’s order came a little more than an hour after Idaho filed an emergency request for an immediate stay and about 10 minutes before the state said that state and county officials would otherwise have been required to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The order also applies to Nevada, where marriage licenses to same-sex couples were going to start to be issued later Wednesday.

The delay could last just a few days. Kennedy’s order requested a response from the plaintiffs involved in Idaho’s gay marriage lawsuit by the end of day Thursday.

The full court almost certainly would weigh in to extend the delay much beyond the weekend. That has been the justices’ practice in other cases in which a single justice initially blocked a ruling from taking effect.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declared gay marriage legal in Idaho and Nevada on Tuesday. A day earlier, the Supreme Court let similar rulings from three other appeals courts become final and effectively raised to 30 the number of states where same-sex couples can marry, or soon will be able to do so.

Having allowed those other rulings to take effect without a full review by the Supreme Court, it would be surprising if the justices were to put the 9th circuit ruling on hold for any length of time.

The high court’s action Monday suggested that only an appellate ruling upholding a gay marriage ban would prompt the court to step in.



Cayman Islands Mental Health Commission hosts logo competition

iNews Briefs MHC-logo-contest-flyerThe Cayman Islands Mental Health Commission will be hosting a logo design competition for school children under 18 years old.

“We need help to design our logo so we are asking students to submit artwork. We hope this will inspire students to get interested in mental health matters in the Cayman Islands,” the Commission said.

Deadline for this competition is October 17, 2014.

Visit Cayman Islands Mental Health Commission Facebook page to post an entry and include parent’s name and phone number. Contact us on Facebook or at [email protected] with questions.

The prize is to be announced.

The Mental Health Commission is also looking for interested adults to train who can act as mental health advocates (volunteers) who will disseminate information and assist with procedural guidance of the new mental health laws.

Persons will be screened and trained for this very important role.

“All volunteers interested please apply – we can find something for you to assist us with as we have a numerous essential tasks to complete,” the Commission said.

Email applications to [email protected] with your name, contact details, and place of employment with title indicating why you are interested in being a mental health advocate.

See also attachment – click to enlarge


Scratching cassettes like vinyl records brings a new meaning to mixtapes

iNews B scratchingcassettesBy Billy Steele From engadget

Sure, you could load a pair of turntables with a couple of vinyl records to hone those DJ skills, but what about that old cassette collection? Well, one inventive fellow created his own set-up using the tapes to achieve the same goal. Jeremy Bell created The ScrubBoard: a pair of cassette tape sections stretched across a board (hence the name) for scratching with a pair of tape heads. The two heads have been removed from Walkman-like cassette players, and the portable devices remain plugged into a sound system of some sort for audio. As Fact Mag points out, similar setups have been constructed before, but if you’ve got a stack of tapes and a couple of the portable players lying around, this certainly seems like a worthwhile weekend project. Bell is also looking to raise funds to create a actual product based on the project, which you can see in action after the break.

See attachment

For more and video: http://www.engadget.com/2014/10/06/scratching-cassettes/?ncid=rss_truncated


Royal Navy goes to Cayman Islands prison to fence

15 Members of the crew of the British Royal Navy ship HMS Argyll went to HMP Northward on Grand Cayman to fence last Tuesday (7).

Actually, to construct a fence, but it wasn’t a fence to keep the prisoners inside from escaping.

This fence was to keep goats penned in.

Once that task was completed they went to the Fairbanks Women’s prison and helped out there.

Earlier in the day crew members visited the Casa Montessori pre-School in George Town. They spoke to the children about working together as a team when they patrol the Caribbean waters and all the places they visit.

This was all part of community service the Royal Navy crew execute wherever they visit.


No intention of abolishing Dominica income tax – Skerrit

From Caribbean360

ROSEAU, Dominica, Thursday October 9, 2014, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says he has no intention of abolishing income tax as his ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) gears up to contest a general election constitutionally due by March next year, but widely expected before that date.

Addressing the launch of a water project in Belles, east of here, Skerrit said his administration would not seek to removes takes “just because you want to gain votes.

“What happens to the country after that, what happens to our wellbeing, what happens to our schools, what about our students, how are we going to repay our debts and people who are going is money, they have taxes in their countries, so how are they going to give you money when you have no taxes,” he asked.

Skerrit said that Caribbean countries with no income tax or a sales or value added tax (VAT) had to introduce such fiscal policies “because countries that give us aid are saying to us we are paying taxes and you can’t come to us asking for money when you are not willing to make your people contribute.

The prime minister described as “foolishness” those who promise to remove certain taxes.

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/business/no-intenton-of-abolishing-dominica-income-tax-skerrit#ixzz3FfmEstc9



Cayman Islands businessman changes plea to “Not Guilty” of money laundering

Bryce Merren’s lawyer, Jennie Espada,has filed a motion in the US District Court of Puerto Rico seeking a change of plea hearing.

The filing was executed on Tuesday (7).

Merren was arrested last March fafter a criminal complaint made in US. court by American Homeland Security investigators. Merren was charged with attempting to set up a money laundering operation to cover up drug smuggling,

Statements made earlier by Espada suggested that Merren’s case would not go to trial and the change of plea reflects that.


Barbados to host major property conference

From Caribbean360

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday October 9, 2014 – Over 100 delegates from across the Caribbean, North America, the United Kingdom, and further, will gather in Barbados later this month for the largest real estate conference to be held on the island in over a decade.

Barbados will now join previous hosts Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in welcoming the 3rd Annual Caribbean Valuation and Construction Conference, which is being held at the Hilton Barbados on October 21 and 22 under the auspices of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI).

Among the speakers slated for the conference are Mr. Michael Blaschuk, Deputy Minister for Real Estate Services, Shared Services in British Columbia, Canada; Mr. Eric Allen, Director and Commissioner of Land Valuations with the Jamaica National Land Agency; Paul Sanderson, President of IPTI in the United Kingdom; and Renea Linton, Director of Property Tax with Marriott International. The Honourable Christopher Sinckler, Minister of Finance for Barbados will deliver the keynote address.

For more: http://www.caribbean360.com/business/barbados-to-host-major-property-conference#ixzz3Ffleyj6o


Cayman’s new joint radio host gets canned

Jonathan Piercy, who had only joined long time co-host Austen Harris on Cayman Islands Radio Station Rooster 101’s Cross-Talk in May was canned via email from Station owner Randy Merren last Sunday – the day before he was scheduled to go on air.

Austen Harris will now host the show alone.

Merren said the idea of having two lead hosts was not working.

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