Contract Signed for Design and Construction Costs Consultancy Phase for Residential Mental Health Facility

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With the recommendation from the outline business case report that a long-term residential mental health facility should be constructed for the Cayman Islands, further work has commenced with the signing of the contract to complete the design and construction costs consultancy phase.

Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. will lead the project in partnership with local architectural firm DDL Studio.

L-r front: Dr. Marc Lockhart, Psychiatrist; Alice Liang, Montgomery Sisam; Jennifer Ahearn, Chief Officer; Minster for Health Hon. Dwayne Seymour. L-r back: Kurt Walton, RCIPS; Mike Kenna, DDL Studio; Karen Rivers, Ministry of Finance; Enda McDonagh, Montgomery Sisam; Janett Flynn, Ministry of Health; Paul Phillips, DDL Studio; Nancy Barnard, Deputy Chief Officer; Peter Ranger, Chief Project Manager; ; Niasha Brady, Senior Project Manager; Kerry Ann Phillips, Maples & Calder; Angelo Rapanos, DDL Studio; Esther Taylor, Department of Counselling services.

“It has been a long road to get to this point and I am very happy to be the Minister seeing the plans move forward,” said Minister for Health Hon. Dwayne Seymour. “I have known Caymanians, including family members, who have had to go overseas for treatment, so I am very excited about getting the facility designed, built and completed.”

There is currently no long-term residential mental healthcare facility in the Cayman Islands, so patients are sent overseas for treatment in Jamaica or the United States.

Many others who require treatment cannot be transferred abroad as they are unable to obtain visas due to criminal convictions. Patients in this position are treated either in the eight-bed inpatient mental health unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, held in a place of safety at H.M.P Northward, or cared for by family members, often under difficult circumstances.

The contract was signed on Monday (24 July 2017 by Jennifer Ahearn, Chief Officer, Ministry of Health, and Alice Liang, Principal, Montgomery Sisam.

“It’s absolutely wonderful news to have the contract signed, as we have been working for many years to establish this much-needed facility to care for our mental health patients, who are among the most vulnerable in our community,” said psychiatrist Dr. Marc Lockhart.

As chairman of the Mental Health Commission and an integral member of the long-term residential mental health facility steering committee, Dr. Lockhart has been a long-time advocate of the building of the residential facility.

“It is absolutely essential that we care for our mental health patients in the appropriate manner, and I am very happy that we have reached this stage of the development,” he said.

The project has been led by the Ministry in consultation with the steering committee that was established in early 2015. Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn noted her appreciation for the steering committee in her remarks to the group.

The design of the new facility will incorporate initially an administrative building and seven cottages, each of which can accommodate six patients. Additional cottages may be built as the need arises.

It is expected that the government will operate the facility, when completed, which will sit on 15 acres of land located in East End.