MHF Hosts Therapy Kitchen Opening Ceremony



PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Mental health foundation (MHF) hosted an intimate group of important stakeholders  to mark the official opening of their Therapy Kitchen. The event, held on Friday, February 9, from 5 PM to 7 PM at the MHF building in Cay Hill, was a testament to the power of community support and collaboration.

The ceremony commenced with an opening prayer lead by Pastor Virgil Sams in the presence of the invitees. MHF management and staff were honored to host representatives of Steflogics, the Department of Inspection, VSA, and Ms. Eileen Healy. A special highlight of the night was a soulful rendition of the St. Maarten song by Ms. Milissa Wilson. Following the musical performance, guests were treated to insightful presentations highlighting the significance of the Therapy Kitchen project. Guests further witnessed the cutting of the ribbon and a tour of the facility.

This transformative initiative, conceived by MHF’s Occupational Therapist and project lead, Mrs. Danette McRae, aims to provide essential support for client recovery through assessments and interventions. The project’s team consisted of Faraja Coordinator Valencia Hixon, Administrative assistant Juan Carlos Zacarias and Psychologist Emmalexis Velasquez. The Therapy Kitchen will serve as a space for enhancing life skills, fostering independence, and promoting engaging social activities.

The project, which received approximately $29,000 in funding during the 5th round of R4CR project funding (March 2023 through February 2024), encompasses the installation of a fully equipped Therapy Kitchen within the MHF premises. This state-of-the-art facility, spanning approximately 22 square meters, is equipped to accommodate up to 8 persons per session, with activities set to commence shortly

The Therapy Kitchen not only enhances practical skills but also serves as a catalyst for improving mental well-being. Research has shown that cooking activities can boost self-confidence, socialization, and overall quality of life. With the addition of dining furniture, lighting, kitchenware, and other essential elements, MHF is poised to provide holistic care to outpatient and inpatient clients alike.

MHF extends heartfelt gratitude to the team at R4CR, Steflogics, Ministry VSA, Ace Megastore, ACE Home center, Five star hardware, Suz luxury Décor, PDG  supplies, Kooyman Megastore, and all other partners for their unwavering support and collaboration. Together, we have achieved a significant milestone in advancing client care and fostering resilience within our community.