JAM | May 5, 2023

J$150-overhaul of Bellevue Hospital expected soon

/ Our Today

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Bellevue Hospital.

As part of scaled-up efforts to enhance mental health services, a comprehensive $150-million overhaul of the island’s premier mental health institution, the Bellevue Hospital is to take place this year.

A key focus of those efforts, according to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, is to improve the managing of more than 400 social cases currently housed at the institution.

“We need to reassign these patients into a mental wellness transition facility, likely located on the grounds of Bellevue, and engage them in more rehabilitative programmes,” Tufton said while delivering his Sectoral presentation in Parliament on Wednesday (May 3).

“These long-term care facilities have been proven to be effective, and economical in the treatment and care of individuals impacted by mental illness,” he added.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, making his contribution to the 2023/24 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on May 3. (Photo: Adrian Walker)

Under the Mental Health Act and the National Health Services Act, the Minister explained, the Ministry will be creating facilities to “properly rehabilitate and reintegrate into society”, individuals who have been impacted by different types of mental health challenges.

“Mental health as a non-communicable disease can rob our society, our communities and our families of valuable human resources. Effective reintegration programmes have been shown to not only improve the health outcomes of the individuals, but also restore broken families and thereby result in the enhancement of community life and the wider society,” he explained.

“This intervention will see an investment that will result in the separation of Bellevue into two distinct institutions, a mental health rehabilitation centre and a mental health hospital for the treatment and care of acute mental health patients,” the Tufton added.

“Our centre for acute mental healthcare will boast a 100-bed facility that will not only have the most modern techniques for the treatment of mental health conditions, but will also seek to create the physical environment that supports the recovery and reintegration, and the restoration of the total person within the society,” he said further.


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