Plans finished for mental health unit

| 14/12/2017 | 17 Comments

(CNS): Plans for a proposed long-term residential mental health facility are ready and are expected to be submitted to the Central Planning Authority this month, government officials said in a release Thursday. The project to develop the long-awaited and much-needed facility is not expected to get underway until next summer, with a target completion date in the summer of 2019. Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said he was very happy the architects had now completed the plans.

“It is vital that we get it up and running as soon as possible so that we can properly care for our patients in appropriate accommodation,” he said. “Once completed, this facility will allow us to keep our loved ones here instead of having to send them overseas for treatment, which has sometimes meant separating them from their families for years at a time.”

The facility will be built on 15 acres of government land off High Rock Road in East End and will be funded and run by government. Design and construction costs have been drawn up by Toronto-based Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc., which specialises in the design of mental health facilities, in collaboration with the Cayman Islands architectural and design firm, DDL Studio. Based on the outline business case published last year, the project is expected to cost more than $16 million and annual running costs are estimated to be around $4 million.

Cayman is facing an increasing problem with the issue of treating people with mental health problems, with many having to go overseas. With no residential facility and only a small eight-bed unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital, most patients are sent to Jamaica or the United States. But those patients who have convictions or cannot travel for other reasons are left in the care of family members, often under difficult circumstances, or in many cases the individuals are incarcerated at either Fairbanks or Northward prisons, which experts have said is highly inappropriate as those facilities are not equipped to deal with their needs.

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Category: Health, Mental Health

Comments (17)

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  1. Veritas says:

    This is great news but what about the much heralded changes to health insurance introduced by Gov’t a few years ago. Mental health patients can only get insurance through CINICO and what they get there is an insult and totally impractical, compared with the Gods from the Civil Service.Under the Standard Health Insurance Contract the lifetime allowance for mental health services is $25,000!. This covers about 3 to 4 weeks in house treatment at the hospital.The lifetime allowance for a civil servant is CI$5 million and for sure Government would allow exemptions to this limit for it’s own employees.

  2. Unison says:

    I am always for individual liberty, and to me, this entails people having a healthy mind of non-aggression. The function of the Cayman Islands government should always be to protect its citizens from all mental illnesses or psychiatric disorders that would cause them harm or harm to others, and the government should ensure they get the necessary mental care. This endeavor should include help from the private sector like churches and charitable organizations.

    The more free minded people you have, is the more crime-free a society becomes. I think this is a step in the right direction ✌

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why no mention of the number of beds?

    • Diogenes says:

      I think it’s been specified previously (could be wrong) in the plans if memory serves it isn’t anything gargantuan, but at the same time it’s better than what we have now which is nothing

    • Diogenes says:

      Found it,
      This is what CNS wrote pertaining to potential occupancy.
      “The facility, which will be in East End, will 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 will likely be developed in the initial phase of construction, and the rest will be built in the future as demand dictates, officials said in a release last week announcing the award to Montgomery Sisam to design the facility.”

      Quote from CNS Article entitled: “Mental health facility design contract worth $900k”

  4. Anonymous says:

    So does the $16 million include the necessary new road and all the other infrastructure that is nowhere near the site?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I still cannot understand why it needs to be so far from “civilisation”?

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is great, but a few words of advice for politicians and the mental health practitioners of this facility.

    *Please avoid turning this into The New Northward.
    *Avoid over-pathologising. Just because certain Caribbean behaviours don’t fit into the
    White American Standard of Living does not make it a symptom. For perspective, the
    DSM-5 only exists in America.
    *This next one may come off as a joke, but I’m serious. Don’t attempt to institutionalise
    LGBT persons who just may lose it because Cayman’s Government is still stuck back in
    the 1800s on LGBT rights. And for goodness sakes, stay away from the old institutional
    methods of conversion or reparative therapy! Not everyone fits the White Christian Male
    *Finally, everyone does not needs to be on medication (although some certainly
    do!). Before there was Prozac, there was fish tea, sorrel and Aunt Julia’s drumbeat!

    Best wishes to all on this new facility. Hope it serves Cayman’s community well!

  7. Anonymous says:

    If people are shocked to see $90 million (assuming it isn’t a mistake) they are going to have a heart attack if and when the government reveals final costs of the cruise berthing facilities.

  8. Randle says:

    Not saying cayman doesn’t require a mental health facility but 90 million per annum? Have our politicians consider this and other issues surrounding the placement of the facility so far from the police station, the community persons residing in the area and their safety and the position of the GT hospital? I wonder what are the ages of those that require treatment, 50,60,70?

    • Anonymous says:

      Running cost of $4mln/annum

      • Anonymous says:

        Just because you have a mental illness does not mean you need to be under police surveillance or a danger to the public; another ignorant comment made by someone who is not aware of the many conditions that fall under mental illness. You are part of the problem of why these individuals are ostracized from the public and are left with no care. Please become educated about ‘Brain Health’ and be apart of the solution. This is much needed and your concerns are ridiculous in the face of the impact this will have on many lives here in Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree with you, but would add that there are quite a few people with mental illness out there who are proving to be dangerous to the public attacking, cursing and threatening random people. When anyone tries to complain to police they say there is nothing they can do without mental facilities and just turn a blind eye, or intervene without charging. When people try to defend themselves in the face of an attack it’s them the police charge and not the attacker. These dangerous folk ought to be the first admissions to the new facility.

  9. Anonymous says:

    90million is obviously a mistake. No doubt Wendy will correct it. Don’t panic.

  10. Anonymous says:

    $90 million a year?! Six times the cost of construction annually?! How?! Why?! I struggle with my mental health and let’s just say I’ve seen this inadequate eight-bed facility we’re coping with badly now, but really??? Really?!?!? Unbelievable!

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