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New code of practice for people with mental illnesses

Great step forward: Preston Swan, vice president of clinical operations at MAWI (File photograph)

The island’s first code of practice for dealing with people with psychiatric problems has been introduced.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board document was drawn up to create “safe, effective and consistent” standards of care for the mentally ill.

Preston Swan, the vice president of clinical operations at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, said: “It is a great step forward in Bermuda that mental health professionals now have this important code of conduct to guide our work and to ensure that safe, effective and consistent services are delivered to people in Bermuda.

“It is also a great guide for patients, families and carers, setting transparent and clear expectations on how services and processes under the Mental Health Act should work.”

A BHB spokeswoman added the Bermuda Mental Health Act Code of Practice was also “a great guide for patients, families and carers, setting transparent and clear expectations on how services and processes under the Mental Health Act should work”.

She said the code also gave guidance to medical practitioners, BHB staff and other mental health professionals on how they should carry out their responsibilities when providing psychiatric treatment and care for people suffering from mental illnesses.

The code will also help patients and their families to understand what they can expect from health professionals.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said: “I’m very pleased that the code of practice is now live – the first ever code of practice in Bermuda for mental health.

“It will provide clarity to all mental health professionals in Bermuda about how they should carry out their roles and responsibilities under the Bermuda Mental Health Act with the goal of delivering high quality and safe care.

“It outlines protections for patients and explains roles, rights and responsibilities. It is both a guide for professionals and also for patients, families and their carers.”

The code can be seen at https://www.gov.bm/mental-health.

The link is available on the BHB mental health website at www.bermudahospitals.bm/mental-health.

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Published January 20, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated January 20, 2021 at 8:53 pm)

New code of practice for people with mental illnesses

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