MWI Host Mental Health Forum for Community

Bermuda Hospitals Board today invites the Bermuda community to a special forum on Thursday 4 November at Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute from 5.30pm, where they will be invited to have their say about how mental health services are developed in Bermuda.

Hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) at BUEI, the goal is about engaging the community in the development of mental health services. This approach of collaboration and feedback is an important part of the Mental Health Plan 2010, which was released by the Minister of Health, the Hon. Walter Roban JP MP in June 2010. The Plan is available at www.bermudahospitals.bm, by clicking on the Mental health tab at the top of the page.

Short presentations outlining the goals and philosophy of the Mental Health Plan will be followed by a workshop style feedback session, in which attendees will break into small groups to discuss mental health issues and services. The feedback from these groups will be fed back into the Mental Health Plan and help shape local services.

Patrice Dill, Chief Operating Officer, MWI comments: “Engaging meaningfully with all our stakeholders is part of the Recovery Model. This model is the underpinning philosophy of our Mental Health Plan. It is about collaboration and the bringing of services to the people who need them, when they need them. We welcome people who have had experience of our services directly, or through a family member to come along and speak up about how they think services should be developed. In fact, even if you are fortunate enough never to have needed a mental health service, you are still part of the wider community and so, as we move more services more to the community setting, your openness to embracing this style of service could be key to the recovery of someone you don’t even realise is a mental health service user.”

Sharon Apopa, Executive Director at MWI, adds: “We are extremely excited about this forum and really hope people stand up to improve mental health services in Bermuda. The importance of collaboration and feedback is that it strengthens the community network for mental health services and can identify areas that have been missed. If we want to bring services to the people, the people need to help us understand how best they can be supported. We need to embrace the fact that mental wellness is not a given, and that we each have a role to play in either our own or someone else’s recovery from mental illness.”

Presentations will include:
• Short Overview of the Mental Health Plan – Patrice Dill, Chief Operating Officer MWI
• Assertive Outreach Teams – Ben Cooper, Community Psychiatric Nurse
• The Recovery Model – Teresa Law, Occupational Therapist, Mental Health Services

Attendees will then break out into smaller groups and discuss their views, note their comments and provide feedback on the Plan. This feedback will then be used by MWI as they plan the development of services within the Mental Health Plan.

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