July 1, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Long time comin’ but there is progress

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The government have just announced plans are in the works for a mental health facility to be built in East End. The target date for completion is April 2019.

The company that will spearhead the design of the facility is Montgomery Sisam Architects from Canada along with Cayman Islands Designers DDL Studio.

The original intention was for a design and build contract but at the Press Conference this has changed to design only with separate tendering for the construction.

Local accounting firm KPMG originally estimated the facility would cost around $16M and no doubt that figure will be the budget figure.

Whatever the cost this is a priority. It has been a national disgrace that this country has for years and years ignored the plight of the mentally handicapped. One would have thought there was no mental health problem with government after government completely ignoring there is a problem here. And a very serious problem.

With only an eight bedroom facility for mental health patients at the George Town government hospital, that is full all the time, other patients, if they cannot be sent abroad, are housed at Northward Prison. Lock them away. Out of sight and out of mind. The problem is it is these patients who are out of their minds and they are not going to find the proper treatment for their illness locked up with criminals.

Tine and again we see and hear judges almost crying at having to send mentally ill people to be incarcerated when they should be in a specialist hospital, but there is nowhere else they can go.

Not only is there a problem with nowhere to care for these people but there are very few doctors and nurses here with the necessary skills to deal with these patients.

Our almost lone advocate and specialist for years has been Dr Marc Lockhart who is chair of Mental Health Commission, He said it was “wonderful news” at the announcement.

The designs of the proposed facility incorporate a central building and a series of nine small cottages, each of which can accommodate six patients. A main building and seven of the cottages is muted to be included in the initial phase of construction, and the rest will be built in the future as demand dictates.

Of course all this will depend on cost. Hopefully it will be not be forgotten like the need for a new Court of Justice. That one, too, has been a long time comin’.

And there is no progress on that one at all.

And the new police station……?

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