The Management and staff of the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital were showered with high praises from Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Dr. Rodney Williams during the annual Christmas visit on Tuesday. While delivering the feature address at the Johnsons Village facility, His Excellency declared his delight at the major changes and transformation that took place on his last visit a year prior.
“I want to commend the management and staff for the work that you have been doing and, I must say that since my last visit, I see the institution has been functioning and functioning very well. And I must say that you are doing a very god job and, I want to encourage you not to be weary in well doing,”’ Sir Rodney said. The Governor General further noted that the visit is his second Christmas at the institution and he is very happy that he got the chance to not only see the patients, but also to hear what has been happening there. “I am happy to hear about the new mental health policy and programs that you have and, are seeking to implement here at Clarevue.”
The Governor General, in addition, suggested that he “heard what the Matron said about the readiness with which the staff are willing to give to the institution,” and it is his “hope that we continue to deliver the kind of care that is necessary for all the clients of the institution. It becomes necessary for us to have institutions such as this where we can give support and assistance because every human being is important,” Sir Rodney asserted.
Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Health and the Environment, Hildred Simpson, gave a few remarks and indicated that she was impressed by the extremely high number of patients at the institution, particularly among the male population. She urged the concerned parties and stakeholders to put more resources into mental health. Her rationale was in full consideration that “we have a fairly high number of men here and … because just looking at our men … one of the main fabrics of our society and see them suffering in this way, it’s a little sad. And I am just hoping in Antigua and Barbuda that we put more resources into mental health and early interventions. Not to wait until things have gone too far, [but] to recognise the situation from early,” Simpson lamented. Currently there are 131 residents at the institution of which 94 are males and 37 females.
The event also brought cheers of joy to four lucky individuals from the general public. They won prizes during a fund raising raffle that the facility held to offset some of the expenses which the institution incurs on a daily basis. Among the happy individuals were fourth place winner, Mr. Henry Willis of Golden Grove taling home a George Foreman Classic Grill; third place winner, Hazel Daniel winning a Digital Steamer from Courts; runner-up Leslie Valentine of Cashew Hill, winner of a Coffee table from Ashley Furnishing; and the overall victor, Isalyn Leblanc, now the owner of a Samsung J1 Phone from LIME.
The event was also attended by Head Grounds man at the Institution Glen Josiah, who served as the Master of Ceremony, Matron of the facility Jizelle Dore, Acting Superintendent-Walton Edwards, Ms Ena Henry who is the Administrative Secretary of Health Institutions and Matron at the Care Project-Juliet Delabastide.
In attendance as well were Chief Medical Officer-Dr Rhonda Sealy Thomas, Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Mr. Alfred Athill and Acting Medical Superintendent Dr. Terri-Anne Joseph.