Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 20, 2018 (SKNIS): The renaming of the Mental Health Day Treatment Centre in St. Kitts in honour of mental health pioneer Arthur W. L. Lake, has been hailed by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, as another fulfilment of government’s pledge to opening doors and creating opportunities for residents and citizens.
At a renaming ceremony on Tuesday (February 20) at the facility located at Lime Kiln, Dr. Harris stated that his government is working to ensure that the health sector can adequately respond to the needs of the local population.
“It is an inclusive public sector health response which we are providing,” he said. “Today we focus on families who are pressured, stressed and traumatized by the challenges of mental health. They can now have the comfort of a facility that provides better care to their loved ones. Their loved ones too are no longer locked out of the system but are welcome here.”
The centre operates from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It offers a range of therapeutic activities to patients using agriculture – where they tend a garden at the back of the facility; recreation – sports and games; cinema – screening of videos and films about mental health wellness; music appreciation; and occupational therapy – where patients engage in art and craft. Patients can also access services on meditation, substance abuse counselling, nutrition and hygiene, medication management and more.
Prime Minister Harris recalled common stories of careers cut short and family life disrupted due to mental illness. He said that the stories are the same over every generation and added that “as a caring government, my Team Unity Administration – with the naming of this centre in honour of a man who contributed greatly to increasing local awareness about mental illness – has come here today to flip our own switch, signalling you are here and not alone.”
The mental health facility provides an opportunity for professionals to make a meaningful impact in the lives of many and Dr. Harris disclosed that “creating opportunities for service requires us to be able to appreciate, recognize and incentivize long and honour especially long and meritorious service.”
“This mental health day treatment centre is an example of that theme at work. It’s now up to all of us to do a better job of recognizing when we – or people we know – need a little emotional help and counselling, so that they or we can seek the requisite assistance and treatment quickly and in a manner that will ensure efficacy and success,” the prime minister added.
The mental health facility had a soft opening in December 2015. It was constructed at a cost of $1.3 million. The renaming is part of activities celebrating government’s 3rd anniversary in office.