May 14, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Mental health

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There is no doubt that mental health patients have suffered here in the Cayman Islands for decades with no proper facilities.

At long last it seems that these patients are going to get a facility that is being specially tailored to their needs.

The lock em up – out of mind mentality has been the norm because where do we put our ‘crazies’?

Crazies? All mental patients are crazy.

NO THEY ARE NOT!

Has that stigma disappeared? No it hasn’t.

Many who do and don’t have a mental illness still perceive it as something bad, something to ridicule or be ashamed of.

What is your feeling immediately when you know someone has moved next door to you and has a history of mental illness?

It is because of this feeling, Dr. Marc Lockhart, Cayman’s chief psychiatrist, was at a public meeting held in East End, where the proposed facility is to be built. He said there would be no fence around the mental home because none of the residents would pose a threat.

Persons diagnosed as being criminally insane would not be housed there. This included those who were diagnosed as suffering from psychosis who posed a risk to themselves and/or the community.

The mental home will be for patients requiring long-term care. The first patients will be those who are currently residing in facilities in Jamaica and do not pose any kind of threat. The Health Authority want to bring home patients who are currently residing in overseas institutions. Once the facility is built they will then be close to their families and undergo treatment here.

The Psychiatrist said over 200 people a year seek help at the mental health unit in George Town.

The facility is to offer training for local students interested in psychology and occupational therapy attending the University College of the Cayman Islands

Construction is expected to start later this year.

I have to say I do not like talking to Dr. Lockhart. I wonder if he is evaluating me as a new patient. I have learnt that nearly all psychiatrists believe a large part of the population – perhaps even the majority – might benefit from some form of mental health care!

I still have visions of mental institutions where all the patients were locked up with Christopher Lee as the psychiatrist taking great pleasure experimenting on them. It turned out he was crazier than his patients.

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News There is no doubt that mental health patients have suffered here in the Cayman Islands for decades with no proper facilities. At long last it seems that these patients are going to get a facility that is being specially tailored to their needs. The lock em up – out of… Link: The Editor Speaks: Mental health […]

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