Residential Mental Health Facility to go to Planning
Plans for a proposed long-term residential mental health facility in the Cayman Islands are to be submitted to the Central Planning Authority this month (December 2017).
Design and construction costs have been drawn up by Toronto-based Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc., which specialises in the design of mental health facilities, in collaboration with the Cayman Islands architectural and design firm DDL Studio.
The mental health facility is to be built on 15 acres off High Rock Road in East End on Crown land already earmarked and approved by Cabinet.
"I am very happy that the architects have now completed the plans for the design of the facility," said Minister for Health Hon. Dwayne Seymour. "It is vital that we get it up and running as soon as possible so that we can properly care for our patients in appropriate accommodation. Once completed, this facility will allow us to keep our loved ones here instead of having to send them overseas for treatment, which has sometimes meant separating them from their families for years at a time."
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 mental health unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, incarcerated at H.M.P Northward, or cared for by family members, often under difficult circumstances.
The project has been taken forward by the Ministry's steering group comprised of key stakeholders in government, the health sector and civil society, with the outline business case prepared in 2016 by consultancy firm KPMG.
The design of the new facility will incorporate a main building and nine cottages, each of which can accommodate six patients. The main building and seven of the cottages will likely be developed in the initial phase of construction, and the rest built in future as demand dictates.
The facility will be funded and run by government, with ground-breaking expected by next summer and the facility scheduled to open in summer 2019.