Residential Mental Health Facility Planning Approved

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Building permit approval now to be sought and construction contract will go out to tender.
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Plans for a proposed long-term residential mental health facility in the Cayman Islands have been approved by the Central Planning Authority.

The application was considered and approved by the Central Planning Authority on Wednesday, 7 March 2018.

The Ministry of Health, which is building the facility, will now seek building permit approval and to prequalify eligible contractors in April for construction of the facility.

“I am delighted that we have received planning permission for this much-needed and long-awaited facility,” said Minister for Health Hon. Dwayne Seymour. “We urgently need a fit-for-purpose long-term facility to care for our people who suffer from mental illness. It is time to look after and treat our loved ones here on-island instead of sending them overseas, separated from loved ones for months and sometimes years.”

There is currently no long-term residential mental healthcare facility in the Cayman Islands, so patients are sent abroad 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.

Design and construction costs for the facility were 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 facility is to be built on 15 acres off High Rock Road in East End on Crown land already earmarked and approved by Cabinet.

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 facility will be funded and run by government, with ground-breaking this summer and the facility scheduled to be completed in the latter part of 2019.

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