July 28, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Another report from another committee

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Colin WilsonwebI have highlighted the problem the Cayman Islands have with mental health in an Editorial I wrote on June 8 “Mental health issues to be discussed at healthcare conference” at: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/the-editor-speaks-mental-health-issues-to-be-discussed-at-healthcare-conference/

I lamented then the Minister of Health, Osbourne Bodden’s comment concerning the announcement of the Fifth National Healthcare Conference to be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman from November 20th to 22nd.

Although mental health issues would be discussed the Minister’s was “even more concerned about childhood obesity, with the latest statistics showing 22 percent of schoolchildren are obese”.

I hope he has changed his mind since then and given his top priority to mental health.

At the same time we published our Front Page Story “The sad case of Debbie Ebanks” we also ran a story under Editor’s Choice “Meeting with Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Consultant”.

The story said:

“Ms Devora Kestel, PAHO/WHO, Mental Health Regional Advisor, arrived in the Cayman Islands on Monday, 14th July, to assist the Mental Health Commission (MHC) with the World Health Organization Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS) survey. The meeting was facilitated by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with PAHO.

“This WHO-AIMS tool was developed by World Health Organization to assist countries in the collection of essential information on the mental health system of a country. The goal of collecting this information is to improve mental health systems. With the collection of the information, as a country we will be better able to develop appropriate policies and plans for mental health, and identify our strengths and weaknesses.

“The report when completed will give us a clearer picture of gaps in our mental health system, providing us with the knowledge to make the necessary improvements as needed.”

So WHO is going to highlight our weaknesses and our strengths?

With all due respects we know our weaknesses – we have a woefully inadequate mental health system. If the WHO can identify any strengths I will be not only amazed but believe the writer who found any should be certified as insane.

At least Dr Marc Lockhart is chairman of the Mental Health Commission (MHC) who is meeting with PAHO/WHO but I fear their report will end up in the same place as the MHC’s.

Minister Bodden expressed he was very pleased at the work of the MHC and looked forward to receiving the WHO-AIMS report.

Doesn’t THAT give you some comfort?

I am sure Debbie Ebanks, the drug addicted mentally handicapped patient sentenced by a reluctant judge to 12 months imprisonment at Fairbanks prison that has no facilities to deal with mental patients will find no comfort from any of this.

In the 12 months the Progressives have been in power we have many committees, many members on these committees, many reports released and many more to come.

We will no doubt have a committee formed to look at all these reports as they come in and report on them.

Then we can further assess that committee’s findings and report back.

As for me, I am just a wannabe reporter. I will report again on this.

Insane isn’t it?



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