Workshop looks at national mental health policy

| 25/11/2015
Cayman News Service

Dr Wendel Abel

(CNS) An overseas consultant recently came to Cayman to help facilitate a workshop on developing a national mental health policy. From 16-17 November, University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Dr Wendel Abel, a psychiatrist and Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) consultant, hosted small meetings and a workshop with mental health practitioners and other relevant stakeholders.

Dr Abel explained that both UWI and PAHO supported the initiative, referring to the “university’s mandate to provide support to member states within the English-speaking Caribbean”.

He added that the workshop was another step in the culmination of the development of a mental health policy framework for Cayman, which he believes will guide further development and improvement of mental health services.

“The Cayman Islands have certainly made significant strides in the development of mental health services; the enactment of modern mental health legislation, which is rights-based, is a model for the Caribbean,” Abel said.

“There are other significant service models that have been developed here, mainly the community mental health services, services to children and adolescents.”

Jennifer Ahearn, Chief Officer in the Ministry of Health, said, “While there is still a lot of work to do, we have made significant strides including establishing the Mental Health Commission, updating our laws and providing training on the legislation to the members of the police force and other stakeholders.”

In October, the ministry entered into a contract with KPMG to complete an outline business case on the proposed development of a long-term residential mental health facility.

A cross-section of mental health professionals and stakeholders from within the industry attended the workshop – representatives of the Mental Health Commission, Department of Education Services, Sunrise Adult Training Centre, Department of Children and Family Services, Health Services Authority, Human Rights Commission, the RCIPS and Prison Services.

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Category: Medical and Health

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