February 8, 2023

The Editor speaks: I believe…..

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Colin Wilson

“I believe above the storm the smallest prayer will still be heard, I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears every word”

Song written by Ervin Drake / Irvin Graham / Jimmy Shirl / Al Stillman.

The above words are taken from the very famous song “I Believe” first sung by Jane Frohman and then more famously by Frankie Laine, both in 1953.

Wikipedia lists 27 artists who have recorded the song although “I believe” it is a lot more.

Dr. Marc Lockhart, chairman of the Mental Health Commission, didn’t sing the song but uttered the word “I believe” when he spoke to The Cayman Compass recently about the proposed new mental health facility to be built here in East End.

He believes ministry officials are committed to the new facility.

I’m glad he does, although the evidence is hardly reassuring.

After the great hoopla in public relations, in March 2018, with architectural drawings shown to the media at a presentation of all the parties with happy smiling faces, work was said to begin in the summer.

It didn’t.

How about the first of this year?

It hasn’t happened.

What about a new date?

None given.

Why the delay?

Dr. Lockhart said he was told it was because of a labor shortage and increased construction costs.

Ah. So delaying the project is going to decrease the construction costs?

If you believe that you should be the first inmate in one of the planned nine cottages to be constructed on 15 acres of land that will include an orchard and a vegetable garden. I’m sure there will be plenty of nice men and women in their nice, clean, long white coats to attend to you as you plant your new potatoes.

According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, demand for mental care, is rapidly rising. In the USA, in 2015, nearly 1 in 5 people had some sort of mental health condition,

And it is not just finding suitable places where mental health patients can get treatment. A 2016 report released by the US Health Resources and Services Administration projected the supply of workers in selected behavioral health professions to be approximately 250,000 workers short of the projected demand in 2025.

And the Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, a 2017 report from the physician search firm Merritt Hawkins, states that, “The shortage of psychiatrists is an escalating crisis … of more severity than shortages faced in virtually any other specialty.”

The number of reported mental health patients here is low. Nowhere near the 1 in 5 ratio suggested above.

What about the unreported cases?

The chronic STIGMA that is attached to mental illness is the main reason. You have to be avery special person who even wants to deal with a mental patient. Do you want to tell your friend that you have someone in your family that is mentally ill, or worse, you are mentally ill?

I’m afraid I do NOT believe there is a total commitment by this government to the new mental healthcare facility.

And I believe that to be a fact.

I hope I’m wrong. Maybe somewhere in the great somewhere of government will hear and heed the word………….

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