New residential mental health facility in the works

A long-term residential mental health facility is in the works for the Cayman Islands.

Currently, there is no suitable accommodation in the Cayman Islands for people with mental health needs who would benefit from long-term residential care. The mental health ward at the Cayman Islands Hospital, the only such ward on the island, has just eight beds.

Overflow patients are housed in other areas of the hospital while those who need longer-term care often must go off island to receive care, typically to Jamaica or the US.

Cayman’s first permanent mental health facility will be located in East End, just beyond Health City Cayman Islands.

With a population of 65,000, an estimated 4,000 people in Cayman are afflicted with mental health issues to one degree or another.

Mental health providers have seen a significant increase in mental health issues, including suicidal behaviour and substance abuse, and say that the long-term facility will help address the growing demand for services.

The complex set on 15 acres of land will have nine cottages – each of which can house six patients – and a central building for administration, dining and activities. It is envisioned to be a therapeutic community.

The project is now on track and is expected to be completed in 2021.

The new facility will be funded and managed by the Ministry of Health.