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Ministry of Health Launches New Mental Health Facility

The Palm View Center, a mental health facility, got a welcome upgrade thanks to PAHO, the WHO, and the UK Department for Foreign Commonwealth Development Office. Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat spoke at the ceremony where discussed the importance of this facility to the ministry’s plan to address the often-stigmatized issue of mental health.

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness: “The retrofitting of the Palm View Center is a huge step toward holistic care and rehabilitation of people with mental health issues. This institution is a community residential facility that offers care to patients with mental disorders and also ensures that patients are able to live in a less restrictive environment during their rehabilitation. This government is committed to healthcare because we believe that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to strengthen its policy on community health services to guarantee quality mental health service. This policy will address the care of acute psychotic crisis, forensic psychiatry, basic antipsychotic medications and the rehabilitation of mental health patients. The retrofitting of this facility is just one of the projects under phase 2 of the Smart Healthcare Facilities project in the Caribbean supported by the UK Department for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in collaboration with PAHO and WHO.”

PAHO country representative, Doctor Noreen Jack and UK High Commissioner Claire Evans also added that this is part of a wider effort to ensure that health facilities across the Caribbean are smart and healthy.

Dr.Noreen Jack, PAHO Representative, Belize: “The PAHO/WHO Smart Hospital Initiative established an integrated approach to building and retrofitting health facilities to ensure that they are environmentally friendly and disaster resilient. With the financial assistance from the United Kingdom the Smart Hospitals project is now being implemented in seven countries in the Caribbean; Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.Lucia and St.Vincent and the Grenadines. This partnership between PAHO/WHO and the United Kingdom is therefore of great relevance to the Caribbean and aims at cost saving on healthcare and utility bills, reducing greenhouse gases, improving air quality, enhancing physical access to hospitals, improving access to safe water and improving safety conditions.”

H.E. Claire Evans, British High Commissioner: “The smart program also recognizes that this vulnerability is made worse by social issues particularly poverty and gender inequality which is why care for the elderly, children at risk and those coping with mental challenges are so important and why helping places like the Palm View Center are so important and why things like gender and disability considerations are factored into consultations, into the services, the surveys and the training that’s delivered.”