It’s been a while in the making – but the new mental health facility has taken a giant leap forward.
A contract has been signed to design the centre planned for 15 acres of land in East End.
Ground breaking is expected to take place later this year with the facility open for patients by April 2019.
“It’s absolutely wonderful news to have the contract signed,” said Dr. Marc Lockhart, Chairman of the Mental Health Commission.
“We have been working for many years to establish this much-needed facility to care for our mental health patients, who are among the most vulnerable in our community.”
Dr. Lockhart added: “It is absolutely essential that we care for our mental health patients in the appropriate manner, and I am very happy that we have reached the stage of designing and building the facility.”
The project will be led by Candian based Montgomery Sisam Architects, who, as well as specialising in mental health facilities, have also designed universities, schools, and bridges.
Cayman Islands architectural and design firm DDL studio will also lend a hand.
Minister for Health, Dwayne Seymour said: “It has been a long road to get to this point and I am very happy to be the Minister seeing the plans move forward.
“I have known Caymanians, including family members, who have had to go overseas for treatment, so I am very excited about getting the facility designed, built and completed.”
Right now, people suffering with mental health problems are treated at the Cayman Islands Hospital in a ward with only eight beds.
In some cases, patients are either looked after at home by family members or sent off-Island for treatment in the United States or Jamaica.
In the past, Dr. Lockhart has talked about creating a farm-type centre where residents can mix treatment with farm work such as raising animals and growing crops.
This contract signing comes after a special think-tank was created and chaired by Dr. Lockhart, alongside members of the health profession and police service.