Minister promises improved mental health care

| 12/10/2021 | 44 Comments
Cayman News Service
Minister Sabrina Turner at the Healthcare Conference

(CNS): Health and Wellness Minister Sabrina Turner has made a clear public commitment to improve access to quality mental health care in the Cayman Islands for everyone. In a statement released Sunday to mark World Mental Health Day, she said she hoped to strengthen the existing mental health services, provide specific insurance coverage and promote work-life balance programmes to support families.

“I will do my utmost to ensure that the people in our islands living with mental health conditions have access to quality community-based mental health services and that their rights and best interests are protected,” Turner pledged.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on people’s mental health, the minister said.

“Some groups, including health and other front-line workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected,” she said. “Many Caymanians and residents remain under great strain, dealing with increased anxiety around the challenges this pandemic has thrown at us, including financial pressures and fears about our personal safety and that of our loved ones.”

She said government had increased provision of mental health counselling and educational psychologist support in schools, and was committed to the long-awaited residential mental health facility. But more must be done, she said.

Turner said that the government’s Strategic Policy Statement outlined “specific objectives aimed at providing more holistic and available mental health services for the people of the Cayman Islands”.

These included “providing a specialised youth mental health facility, promoting better mental health and special needs insurance coverage so everyone has access to mental health care, and promoting programmes that offer greater work/life balance and which support family systems”.

The minister noted the importance of building a focus on better mental health in the healthcare system and reinforcing every individual’s commitment their own personal mental health and that of their families.

See the full message in the CNS Library.

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Category: Health, Mental Health

Comments (44)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The toll on mental health due to the never ending border closures FAR exceeds the effects that Covid will have on the island.

    Sadly, some of these mental health impacts will go on long after the border opens because some people are having to re-start their businesses from scratch….if borders ever open.

    • Anonymous says:

      My mental health is deteriorating every time I watch another press briefing and the goal post moves down the road. Today, there was hope, but no answers given on the reopening except wait until next week. It also did not sound promising. It sounded like only Caymanians living abroad and residents would be allowed with their CDC card for the holidays. Everyone else with family and friends do not matter, I guess.

  2. Junior says:

    Great words. Ill wait. For the action though.

    Is the new mental health unit going to be on the end of F wing at Northward ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    How about pushing this Govt to come up with an actual plan and share it, about what might be happening here at Christmas? The complete lack of any concrete options is making people anxious/crazy/depressed/frustrated. Help us!

  4. Slacker says:

    I said it at the time they were introducing Health Insurance and I will say it again. Mental Health should be placed under Public Health and be provided for free.

    I warned the powers to be that private insurance will either provide none or minimal coverage for Mental Health and Substance Abuse services.

    Ironically, the people that have the platinum plans are generally the ones that could afford to pay it out of pocket. This does not apply to gardeners, servers, dive masters and the unemployed or intellectually challenged.


  5. Anonymous says:

    A lot of this is just talk for the sake of talking. How many employer’s in Cayman have done anything meaningful to promote a healthy work-life balance for their employee’s? If someone shows any sign of being under any strain or stress and expresses the same to their employer their career will be heading nowhere fast and they will most likely be looked down on by their employer. Also, stress cause by financial difficulties and similar issues are not fully resolved by talking with someone about your problems. The underlying issues will need to be resolved before any relief can be achieved.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Stop promising and just DO IT! Words mean nothing if no action is taken.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If you’re on a work permit and you’re on here screaming about opening the borders and longing to see family etc. (not that I disagree with you) but bare in mind, you are not stuck here. You are free to leave and have the option of going back home.

    Mental health here has always been a joke. I have the standard insurance plan through my employer but it does not cover mental health care. I called a few places to seek counselling for myself and my kids as we’ve had a lot of trauma the past few years and at minimum $300.00 per visit, per person, it is so out of reach and not affordable so we have not gone. Health insurance needs a complete overhaul.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m a male.
    I’ve been stressed like everyone. For prolonged periods. I’ve even been to the doctor for physical/mental stress.
    90% of it comes eirher from work gaslighting, or defective relationships.
    I’ve even exaggerated symptoms to see their reaction. (Dizzy, sleepless angry etc).
    Doctors have said: keep pushing on with your head down actually said this), or offered couple of stress days off, or sleeping pills.
    None have referred me to a counselor or to family therapy. None have asked of suicidal ideation. None have asked of family history. None have spoken of the physical correlation.
    Now several females I work with have also sought direct mental counseling. Every program has resulted in the same outcome: the boss is the problem.
    But the boss is never informed or corrected with intervention.
    Cayman is facing a huge crisis in mental health and for people of men of all ages. For locals and expats alike.
    Male and female.
    Some come to work and don’t see their own family for up to 9 years! Employers act as if they are robots. And yes..they have to pay or repay their airfare and permit fees etc. I’m a responsible married Caymanian father.
    I know moms are also not served mentally but they do get much more support. Eg. Crisis Centre. Nothing such for males.

  9. Say it like it is. says:

    The Mister who benefits from the Platinum plated Cinico Civil Service Plan clearly has no idea what’s in the Standard Health Insurance Contract that everyone else has to put up with.
    For her benefit I wish to point out that the LIFETIME benefit for mental health treatment is $25,000 i.e enough to cover a single stay of 14 days in the Mental Health Ward at the hospital. Thus after just one visit the patient is on their own without insurance to pay for any further treatment costs, a situation that no civil servant will ever have to face.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Open the border, stop quarantine for vaccinated, and accept the CDC card like the rest of the world if you want to help improve mental health. That way family and friends can visit each other after 2 years of being separated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can Sabrina advise why no one answers the phone at the mental health hotline bragged about at every press conference?!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a result of it being operated by the Civil Service.

      • Anonymous says:

        I should add…the phone call was declined. The mental health hotline actively ignores calls from people calling.

        Perhaps it is gallows humour, but, I laughed and moved on to dealing with the issues I need to deal with by myself.

        PACT government only answers calls from Marc and Marcus it seems.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Looks like PACT members are auditioning to work with FADS loading baggage onto planes. The country is begging/crying for answers, for leadership and all we see splashed over social media is Jay picking up a pampers box, Isaac doing same, JuJu trying look relevant, big Mac dressed for a safari and Chris trying to find his place.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This government and this minister are responsible for the mental anguish of thousands.

    • Anonymous says:

      lolll….. r u serious lmfao you think mental health only existed since election… you need to be tested if thats the case because you lacking something if you think that

  14. Anonymous says:

    Open the border, stop the stupid quarantine, and let people get on with their lives like the rest of the world already has…

  15. Anonymous says:

    We will need it to get through this PACT government.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Make it mandatory that health insurance covers mental health services. Mental health services should be available to all, and should not be a privilege saved for the wealthy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Empty talk as usual.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Blah, blah blah blah

    Children are already damaged for life- anxiety, phobias, ptsd, agoraphobia, claustrophobia will affect many throughout their lives.

    Youngster’s brains are forming through late teens, whatever they experience in this period of their lives gets cemented for good.

    Congratulations for destroying mental health of the entire generation.

    • Anon says:

      To put a thought in the pot: for multiple years when I was a child (I’m Gen X), the cold war was raging and many, many people believed that the world has going to be annihilated by nuclear bombs. It was pretty scary. A vast majority of my generation made it through this stressful start with positive outcomes. For the most part, kids are pretty resilient….

  19. Anonymous says:

    Please examine Roy & Alden

  20. Anonymous says:

    Blah, blah, blah. Same old mouthful of platitudes PACT CRAP. When are you going to address the high cost of health insurance with the promised “certralized health insurance coverage” listed in your Strategic Policy Statement? Or “Enact legislation to reform the current pensions system to provide greater retirement protection.” listed in the same Strategic Policy Statement?

    Like every other government you do nothing and then ask for “four more years” to complete the job.

  21. Orrie Merren says:

    I commend Minister Turner for her expressed commitment to tackle mental health issues.

    There are many people that, perhaps not knowing or being formally diagnosed, are struggling with mental health issues as well as some persons who are aware and have been diagnosed and are working on issues.

    I truly hope that this is successful and people are able to get the benefits and help they need to deal with mental health issues.

    Article 12.1 of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes “the right of everyone to the highest enjoyment of attainable standard of physical and mental health”.

    And, it also provides that parties to the Covenant take steps “to achieve the full realization of this right shall include for those necessary for”, inter alia, the “creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness”: see Article 12.2(d) of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

    Moreover, the World Health Organization’s definition of “health”, which is broad in scope, is “a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not only the absence of disease or infirmity”: see WHO (1948/1998) and where it was was commented on by Rosenberg JA in R v Parker (2000) 188 DLR (4th) 385 at [177] per Court of Appeal of Ontario.

    I pray that God may truly bless the Cayman Islands and, most importantly, our precious Caymanian people and residents.

  22. Anonymous says:

    If health insurance coverage is contingent on pre existing conditions including mental health.. people will continue to suffer as they will be less likely to seek help (which is already hard due to shortages of mental health providers). The stigma of mental health illnesses will also continue to be prevalent. It is truly horrifying and absurd the way people behave and deal with mental health on island.

    Update laws, break the stigma and get people to feel ok talking about mental health without fear of losing their jobs,or their health coverage or anything else.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps consider not depriving our children of an education?

  24. Anonymous says:

    16 days sentences of solitary confinement for half of the population sure doesn’t help.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of quarantine, open the borders and stop this baffoon style management. People are losing income being locked away for no legitimate reason. Employers are the only ones benefitting from this as they are not required to pay employees if they are locked away in isolation (and I am not knocking employers as this is not their doing and also many employers are indeed paying- by their own choosing). This government has no foresight, no plan, no sense of understanding, and is way beyond their own intellect to run the country.

  26. Anonymous says:

    My mental health would improve if they released a plan. The silence has been horribly damaging.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Open the damn schools and the daman border if you want improved mental health. It ain’t rocket science.

  28. Anonymous says:

    End quarantine…that’ll help.

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