MHF Celebrates World Health Day & !st Anniversary In Building


The Mental Health Foundation held a ceremony to celebrate World Health Day  and also to mark their 1st anniversary in their new building located in Cay Hill.

President of the MHF Board Dr. Holiday


The Mental Health Foundation commemorated World Mental Health Day with a reception that started at 7.00 PM. MC for the evening was Joe Dominique who did a wonderful job in acknowledging the importance of Mental Health awareness and the work done by the team of MHF on St. Maarten. MHF presently has more than 550 patients in care.

Danette Gumbs Information and Prevention officer at MHF opened the evening with the National Anthem of St. Maarten and a prayer.

Dr. Holiday, president of the board acknowledged the responsibilities of the board and the workload related to complying with transparency and accountability. Special thanks went to the treasurer of the foundation Eric van der Hoek, for his considerable contribution in in 2012. Thanks to his support the foundation remained able to serve the people of St. Maarten.

Director of MHF Ms. Eileen Healy

Eileen Healy announced that the Financial, Social and Quality reports 2011 are now available to the financers of care, thanking the board, staff and other contributors for their endurance, ongoing support and team effort regardless of the difficulties the foundation has been encountering in 2012. The foundation presently has 34 staff members and several local contributors e.g. safety and security, IT management, hygiene and local businesses for supplies are contributors to the foundation.

This was followed by a poem recital by 2 clients of the foundation. Loraine recited, are you so different to me? By, Brian Mitchell. Dianne recited Reach out by, Daun Miles.

The Foundation then proudly launched three, 60 second awareness spots that will soon be hosted on TV, radio and the MHF website, The spots are sponsored by Ennia insurances and produced locally.

Key note for the evening was Mental Health’s own Dr. Gandotra, Joe Dominique who announced Dr. Gandotra, expressed his astonishment regarding the considerable scientific achievements to his credit.

The foundation acknowledged the SZV Director Dennis Richardson and CEO Reginald Willemsberg for their continuous support of the MHF. They were presented with a painting made by a client of the foundation. Also acknowledged was Ms. Kirsten Bouw, a Social Psychiatric Nurse whose continuous efforts in setting up the Mental Health Foundations admission and crisis intervention including her support in training the local nurses on the job was acknowledged.

Dr. Gandotra, emphasized on recognizing the need to address various mental health issues and urged to make mental health a priority. Also stressed, was the cultural differences in the manifestation of mental illnesses. He further elaborated on the need to understand the prevalence on psychiatric illnesses and the importance of research in relationship to knowing what to plan for in the future. According to Dr. Gandotra MHF has come a long way but we have only reached a tip of the iceberg, more and more persons are finding their way to the foundation while so much still needs to be done. He stressed for support from all sections to the board and director to facilitate administrative tasks to be able to provide continuity of care.

The presentations were closed with an invitation to a buffet by the Mental Health foundations, cook, clients and volunteers. Governor Mr. and Mrs. Holiday and the Prime Minister Mrs. Sarah Wescot-Williams honored the Foundation with their presence.

On the 26th of October MHF will be at Taloula Mangos on the boardwalk with arts and craft from the foundation.

Director of SZV Mr. Dennis Richardson and Chief Operation Officer Mr. Reginald Willemsberg were also in attendance and received a token of appreciation from the MHF

Psychiatrist Dr. Gandotra