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No psychiatrist on staff at Mental Health Centre

No psychiatrist on staff at Mental Health Centre


Although there is currently no psychiatrist on staff at the Mental Health Centre, this does not mean that no psychiatric interventions are taking place at that institution.

This was the response of Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to concerns posed by a caller during an interactive radio programme on NBC radio last Wednesday.{{more}}

The caller stressed that his main point of contention was the lack of a resident psychiatrist at the Orange Hill facility.

While admitting that there is currently no psychiatrist at the facility, Gonsalves said there are trained psychiatric nurses, a senior psychologist and other trained persons on staff. He also noted that the post of psychiatrist is on the books and is yet to be filled.

The caller who resides in Toronto, Canada, however said, “what exists in St Vincent is not useful to persons suffering with mental health issues.”

Gonsalves, however, said the work of the present staff should not be undervalued.

“…We have a number of trained persons, highly trained persons who operate the mental health centre and we are seeking in addition to having those trained persons…we are also fixing the facilities which is very important also for individuals who are suffering from psychiatric difficulties.”

Before her death earlier this year, former president of the St Vincent Human Rights Association Nicole Sylvester had asked for a enquiry into the deaths of patients who had passed away at the institution.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Simone Keizer Beache told SEARCHLIGHT on April 2, 2015 that the Ministry of Health is looking into the matter to determine whether anything untoward had led to any of the eight deaths, seven of which she said occurred at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where they had been admitted for care.

Currently, the mental health hospital is currently located at Orange Hill, while extensive renovations are taking place at its original location at Glen.(CM)