MAY PEN, Clarendon — Days after allegedly setting a fire that completely gutted the house she shared with her husband, mentally ill 60-year-old Dorothy White-Morgan is missing.
"The last time I heard of her, I heard she was being chased from a house. I thought she went to St Toolis by her sister but I don't know where she is," her distraught daughter Ivoree Morgan told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.
White-Morgan and her husband Llewellyn, who is in his 70s, were left homeless after she allegedly set fire to their three-bedroom house in Ebony Grove, Clarendon, about 6:00 pm on Monday. Her husband and the councillor for the area told the Observer she had attempted to torch the house once before. Morgan also painted a picture of a life of misery as the family struggled with his wife's mental illness.
On Thursday, Clarendon's Mental Health Nurse Practitioner/Nursing Supervisor Kevin Allen spoke of the importance of families reaching out to such patients when they need help. They were unaware of the family's struggles, he said, until the Observer published the story.
"There is no record of her at the clinic. The May Pen Hospital and the community mental health service are two different departments. I have staff living in Ebony Park and they don't know her or have any record of her coming to seek our services," he said. "Cases coming up in the media that persons have mental illness but they have never been seen by a psychiatrist, not on medication, or have been diagnosed."
Allen said this was the second case, in recent times, in which his team only became aware of individuals described as mentally ill after their actions made the news.
He referenced the case of a man, identified only as Alric, who was shot by a cop outside Rock River Primary School on Monday after causing a disturbance.
Allen said they had no record of the man being a mentally ill patient, but that claim was made after the incident.
"As soon as something happens then, all of a sudden, they have mental illnesses. These are the things that are coming up and then it looks as if my team isn't doing anything when [in fact], they are in Rock River twice a month and have never seen this man. It's the same for that lady — she has never been treated by my team," he explained.
According to Allen, the community mental health team serves the entire parish and has scheduled days when their bus goes house to house providing treatment.
"Anybody in need when the bus is in the area, we check our records and we administer the treatment as needed," he said.
Clients who miss their appointments at the clinic are also treated by the mobile team, he said.
White-Morgan's daughter said her mother had been receiving treatment at May Pen Hospital.
"The last time I took her to the hospital was on August 10 and she was admitted there for a week. They took blood samples from her and then released her on medication. I give her the medication every day with her three meals. I thought she was getting better, now this happen. I am so traumatised. I don't know what to do or where to turn; I can't eat or sleep and I can't find her," she lamented.
"I even say to the doctor, 'You not going to give me a paper to go to the clinic?' And him even say I must take her to a private doctor after the medication finish. The doctor didn't give me any referral or anything to take her to the clinic. Now I don't know where she is," she added.
Allen is urging relatives and other residents in and around Ebony Grove to take White-Morgan to the clinic if they see her.
"If I send the team, they will only be going on a wild goose chase because they don't know where she is. So, I am asking anyone who may see her to take her in," he appealed.