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HSA encourages residents to prioritise mental health

Health Care 12 Oct, 2023 Follow News

HSA encourages residents to prioritise mental health

With October 10 marked as World Mental Health Day, the Health Service Authority (HSA) is reminding residents across the Cayman Islands that they can access mental health support services from its Behavioural Health Department.

World Mental Health Day is meant to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.  This year’s theme is Mental Health is a Universal Human Right.

In celebration of the observance, the HSA’s Behavioural Health Department will be hosting a public panel discussion on the Cayman Islands Human Rights Legislation and its implication for persons with mental health challenges. The event will be held in the Hibiscus Conference Rooms, George Town Hospital on Wednesday, 11 October 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm. Panelists will include HSA and Behavioral Health Associates Cayman (BHAC) Psychiatrist Dr Marc Lockhart, HSA Legal Counsel Garcia Kelly, Chair of the Cayman Islands Mental Health Commission Fiona McDougall, and a representative of the Human Rights Commission. 

The event which is open to the public requires no registration and CME credits will be offered. 

More than 12,600 persons sought mental health services in the Cayman Islands in 2022 according to statistics from the Mental Health Commission. Head of the Behavioural Health Department Dr Omotayo Bernard is encouraging residents to pay attention to their mental health and to support others who may have mental health conditions. “It’s important to understand that a person’s mental health can have a significant impact on their physical health and their ability to socialise, function, and contribute to their communities. Therefore, it’s crucial to address mental health issues as soon as possible. Our world is constantly changing, and we need to proactively address the challenges that affect our daily lives. Ignoring these issues won’t help, so if you notice that your mental health is affecting your work, relationships with family and colleagues, seek help. I urge the community to support each other, talk about mental health and access care if needed,” she advised.

The largest group accessing mental health services in 2022, were persons in the 25-44 age group, followed by persons in the age group 0-18.

Adolescents with mental health issues may access services through Alex’s Place located on the main campus of the George Town Hospital. The facility, which was opened in January, was established under a partnership with the Alex Panton Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Wellness to provide mental health care to persons 10-20 years.  

“People, especially our youth, should not be afraid to access mental health care. We may not all be affected at the same level, but we have all needed to, at some point, assess and take care of our mental health. Therefore, we should support and encourage each other to be open and access care,” Dr Bernard noted. 

Another point of access to care for people having ongoing difficulties with community adjustment and interpersonal relations is the HSA’s Day Centre. This facility provides a supportive learning environment, clinical assistance, and social support.

The multi-disciplinary team comprises mental health nurses, occupational therapists, and social workers.

Persons may book an appointment by calling (345) 949-8600 or by visiting the Behavioural Health Department at the Smith Road Medical Centre, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

HSA’s Behavioural Health Department just received Silver in the Best of Cayman Islands awards.

For more information on our Behavioural Health Services visit https://www.hsa.ky/medical-services/behavioural-health .

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