Mental Health Foundation reacts to the death of patient at the police station



CAYHILL, Sint Maarten — The Mental Health Foundation hereby extends its profound condolences to the family and friends of the patient who passed away recently. When a patient passes away it also affects the staff of the foundation, the guards and police officers involved. Caring for mental and addicted patients will at all times remain a collective effort; there are protocols and procedures in place supporting this effort.

There is an increase in cases since hurricane Irma and the Covid19 and the pressure on the teams is considerable never the less they are out there to guide and support, patients, clients and families. There is also a serious increase in substance abuse making treatment of patients very difficult.

Due to the confidentiality of our clients MHF would not be disclosing any information on the patient to the general public in accordance with the foundation’s protocol and the ongoing investigation.

Reports of sudden death in people with mental illness have been a source of public and professional controversy for decades. Psychiatric patients are at increased risk of death from a number of causes. The increase in substance abuse is causing treatment of patients to become more risky because the overall condition of the patients due to the substance abuse is not always optimal.

Until 2006 there was no Mental Health care locally available and when MHF started 15 patients per year were flown to Curaçao. Today the foundation treats 400 crisis patients per year, while initially the stabilization period was 3 days’ today it takes 5 to 10 day. The foundation is very much aware of the problem and is working diligently to be able to deal with the problem with the available means.

Our prayers and thought to all involved, family, friends, staff and officers, May God give us the strength to continue to care to the best of our ability.