Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 01, 2022 (SKNIS): The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is currently restructuring its mental health services to reflect a refocused approach to improve service efficiency and effectiveness.
“We are doing a complete revamp of the entire structures that we use for mental health and so overtime people will hear of these changes that we are making. So, a complete restructure is taking place in the background first starting with the addition of a new psychiatrist who is already on island and who will be placed within the community and at the Day Treatment Centre to start building out these new structures in mental health,” said Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, while appearing as the second guest on the new radio programme, The Point, on Tuesday, May 31.
Minister Byron-Nisbett said it was important to hire a new psychiatrist to enhance counselling services in the Federation.
“Previously, within the entire health system, there was only one (1) psychiatrist and seeing that there was one psychiatrist to cover community needs and the Day Treatment Centre I thought that was too much for one. Therefore, I thought it was important to bring in an additional psychiatrist who we will have stationed at community level at the Day Treatment Centre but also assigned to the community to assist with our mental health patients at that level as well,” said the health minister.
Minister Byron-Nisbett said that she has conducted meetings with the Chief Medical Officer and the Director of Community Services who have been working “tirelessly” with her to enhance the sector.
“…we have been working to see how we can restructure on the community side so that it augments and assists with the institution side and get better referral from institution into the Day Treatment Center, into the community and follow those patients throughout their times to make sure that they are taking their medications and doing what they are supposed to do,” said the minister.
The local Ministry of Health continues to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize efforts in support of mental health.