Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, leads the charge.
“I think persons who have relatives who are mentally ill, or persons generally, would welcome this new centre because it means here is an outlet that persons can be brought to or can utilize on their own to be able to access medical care,” Sir Tapley said. “Continuous medical care for the mentally ill is very important and so certainly we applaud this effort and we wish it all success.”
Cherica Weaver addressed the matter of inclusion into society.
“Any opportunity for the Federation to embrace persons who are living with the challenges of mental health is a good one,” Ms. Weaver said. “So I am very excited and across CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) this is a challenge that we’re working on and to have this centre means that we see it as important, and we are really putting our resources in the important areas, so I’m excited.”
Myrtle Ferdinand, Secretary of the Retired Energetic Nurses Touching All Lives (RENTAL)
noted the aspect of caring.
“I think it’s a very good gesture, the clients can be cared for, they would be taken off the streets, and they would be shown love and they would be apreciated and they can also learn a skill,” she said.
His Excellency Michael Morton, Governor General’s Deputy reminded that the facility would serve a very specific purpose for which there was a need.
“Firstly, as a member of the St. Kitts-Nevis Mental Health Association and also in my capacity as Vice President of the Drug Prevention and Abuse Council, I welcome this important facility because it is one that is so badly needed in the ongoing work that is being carried out in our Federation to help those who are in need of mental assistance and of course help,” he said. “We think this facility which will bring relief, at least during the daytime is a start. And I believe that as people recognize the importance of giving support to mental health, they would use the facilities daily, access treatment which is now being made available throughout the island. And I think that this would certainly aide and assist families who are under tremendous stress and who are in need of this support, so this is long overdue and it’s a most welcome facility at this time.”
Sheridane Warner expressed that it was time to end the silence with respect to mental illness.
“I think this is a great opportunity for persons to come to the mental health treatment centre to get some help,” she said. There are a lot of persons out there who need the help and I think this is a very good addition. And I also think that it will help people to be more aware of their mental health people who are out there, and will give us some more education as to what it’s all about. Mental health is like a silent disease that a lot of people are not aware of and this will bring more awareness to that; it’s a very good thing to have in the Federation at this time.”
The Mental Health Day Treatment Centre costs EC$1.3 million and the one acre facility is located at Lime Kiln.