Mental health the focus at MWI meeting
About 70 members of the public turned up to a meeting designed to improve mental healthcare in Bermuda.
R. Scott Pearman, chief operating officer at the Bermuda Hospitals Board, which organised the event, said people gave advice on mental health, child and adolescent services, mental disability and drug abuse to professionals from the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.
Mr Pearman said: “This is a new way of working for us at BHB. Despite the cold, wet and windy weather outside, there was great engagement, enthusiasm and generosity in sharing ideas, perspectives and solutions.”
Mr Pearman said the event at Pier Six last Thursday followed a public meeting last year at which people were asked what BHB needed to do “to get it right”.
He added: “A number of ideas were generated and over the last year BHB has made changes and improvements, from extending visiting hours for acute patients, working with pastoral staff to support patients’ spiritual needs and working on a clinical services plan that will help define BHB’s future role.”
Projects discussed at the latest meeting included how to address the stigma associated with mental illness, the establishment of a Club House in Hamilton as well as supervised community mental health group homes, the teen life skills programme and the need for more work in schools.
Mr Pearman said: “Attendees included service providers, community partners, BHB staff, board members, civil servants, service users, and families of service users.
He added it was unusual to have such a wide cross-section of people involved in discussions on mental health services.
Mr Pearman said: “MWI staff who led project conversations now have a wealth of perspectives, ideas and thoughts that will improve how we understand the projects and what they can achieve for our community.”