Leading psychiatrist backs Island’s mental healthcare model
Gone are the old days of managing care for Bermuda's mental ill.
This from Deputy Chief of Psychiatry at Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute Dr Anna Neilson-Williams following concerns raised by a woman whose father is mentally ill. The article, published in this newspaper on October 14, featured a Facebook post by a Bermudian woman, referred to as Ms X.
In a personal account she wrote of her struggle to come to terms with her father's condition to “educate others in the process”. In a letter to the editor on Page 4 today, Dr Neilson-Williams said: “We understand the concerns shared by Ms X concerning mental illness. “We'd like to assure Ms X and others dealing with mental health challenges that services are available here in Bermuda and people have care and treatment options.”
With approximately one in six people affected by mental illness in their lifetime she said the vast majority who receive psychiatric care do so within a community setting, rather than in an institution.
“Most of the services provided by staff from the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute involve outreach to the community. People with mental illness are valuable members of society and should not be ‘locked up and thrown away'.
“The old days of managing care for the mentally ill ‘behind the walls' of St Brendan's has shifted to the Recovery Model.