Gov’t improving services at National Psychiatric Hospital

Mental Health remains a priority area for the government, and the Ministry of Health has committed to improving the delivery of mental health services in Guyana.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony said the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Bills will help to reorganise mental health care in Guyana.

The ministry is focusing on improving services at the National Psychiatric Hospital in Berbice.

“We have a new psychiatrist that has been relocated to the National Psychiatric Hospital. We have adequate staff at the institution, in addition to the nursing staff we have psychiatric aids that are working there. We have more than 70 psychiatric aids that would assist patients on a 24-hour basis. So, we have been constantly working to improve the facilities and the services that we offer at the psychiatric hospital,” Dr Anthony said.

Minister Anthony noted that when the government took office in 2020, mental health was neglected. There was also poor service at the facility.

The government is now working with patients to see less institutionalisation, one of the provisions in the new Mental Health Legislation.

“One of the active programmes that we are working on is to deinstitutionalise the patients that we have there because once they are through with their acute phase then they can be managed closer to home,” the health minister said.

This would require less staff to be present at the hospital itself, but persons can be managed by returning home and attending regular clinics for medication.