Commission to protect mental health detainees

| 07/04/2014

(CNS): Almost a year after the Mental Health Commission Law was tabled and passed in the Legislative Assembly in May last year, government officials revealed Monday that the body appointed in December met for the first time in February. The law deals with those involuntarily detained – taken against their will and the Commission is meant to ensure that the rights of those people are protected and detention in their best interest and to manage the appeal process under the Law for wrongly detained. The Commission consists of stakeholders from various sectors representing legal, as well as lay advocates and health care practitioners with training in mental health.

Osbourne Bodden, the minister responsible for health said the commission was created to protect the rights of mental health patients and their families. “This represents a first for the Cayman Islands and I am very pleased to have the available expertise and knowledge serve as members of the Commission,” he said as he thanked the members.

The Commission will focus on key issues and make recommendation to government, service providers and other stakeholders on ways to improve the local mental health system. Other functions of the Commission include, but are not limited to, hearing appeals, periodic review of the detained patient, advocacy, research and training programmes to reduce stigma and discrimination, and advising the Minister for Health.

The commission is chaired by Dr Marc Lockhart, with deputy chairs Taylor Burrowes Nixon, and Olivaire Watler. Members include Janett Flynn, Senior Policy Advisor for the Health Ministry, Dr Blanca Bolea, Julene Banks, Faylene Ebanks-Suckoo, Pastor Dale Forbes, Sophia Walker and Kimberly Voaden.

For further information contact the Mental Health Commission at or Janett Flynn at 244-2374.

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