Minister of Health, John Boyce. (FP)

One in four adults and one in ten children can experience a mental health problem in any given year, and such high incident rates can have a profound impact on our lives and the lives of our families and friends.

In light of this documented evidence, Minister of Health, John Boyce, has highlighted the importance of early recognition of mental illness and appropriate clinical interventions are crucial to averting such an impact and maintaining their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day.

Addressing the Friends of the Psychiatric Hospital Appreciation Ceremony and Cocktail Gala at Hilton Barbados last Saturday, the Minister publicly commended the awardees for their donations of time, money, equipment, and services that in one way or the other, helped to enhance the services offered at the institution.

He added: “In the process of making your individual and corporate contributions you have raised awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health problems are given the opportunity to live life with dignity. Through your partnership and general association with the Psychiatric Hospital, the community is becoming well-informed and the negative attitudes to mental health are being eroded.”

Mr. Boyce also indicated that the engagement of other sectors in the delivery of mental health services had been shown to increase awareness, and decrease stigma and discrimination inherently associated with mental ill-health.

“I am proud to acknowledge that we in Barbados have benefited from such collaboration, as demonstrated here by the presence of faith-based organisations and other non-governmental organisations, corporate and business entities, educational institutions and individuals. Thank you for lending your valuable time and resources to enhance the delivery of care provided by the Psychiatric Hospital and for offering support to the clients through meaningful interactions on regularly scheduled visits,” Mr. Boyce underlined.

The Health Minister mentioned landscaping projects and general refurbishment of wards recently undertaken by members of the corporate sector that helped to enhance the ambiance of the institution.

Mr. Boyce also disclosed that the Hospital benefited from the donation of equipment and supplies that were immediately pressed into use by staff in the daily delivery of patient care.

“These generous donations have been ongoing over many years and have augmented the provisions made through the Government’s financial allocation to the institution. The annual budgeted expenditure of BDS $30 million dollars is carefully utilised by the Hospital’s management to cover staffing and administrative costs, medical supplies, food, repairs and refurbishment among others.

He urged its partners to continue to work with the hospital and added: “Your presence here is testament to the growth of mental health services in Barbados and your commitment to their continued development. I look forward to your continued support as we continue to advocate for, and promote good mental health for all.

A number of certificates and pillar awards were presented during the inaugural event.

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