Western News

Cry for help for mentally ill in the west

BY KARLA JOSEPHS Observer staff reporter josephsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 23, 2012    

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SENIOR Resident in the Department of Psychiatry at the Cornwall Regional Hospital Janice Clarke has stressed the need for infrastructure to be put in place to facilitate the mentally ill in western Jamaica.

"We currently have 16 'social cases' admitted to the psychiatric unit of the Cornwall Regional Hospital. These are patients who have nowhere to go — one has been there for seven years. There is need for both supportive and supervised living facilities that will provide the basic needs for food and shelter," Dr Clarke said

She also mentioned the need for two buses, which would be dedicated to responding to crisis calls, and for assertive outreach.

"CUMI partnered with the National Health Fund to provide a bus in 2011 for the Psychiatric Emergency Management Team of the hospital. "You find that if the team is doing a home visit in Trelawny and a crisis call comes from Hanover, they have to leave from Trelawny to respond to that call. Ideally what we need is one bus that will be dedicated to crisis calls and one that is specifically assigned to the assertive outreach team," she explained.

Dr Clarke was speaking on Tuesday at the launch of 'Flow CUMI Fun Run' 10K Run and 5K Run/Walk at the Sunset Beach Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.

The event will be held on September 22.

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