Congress Transforming Care With Mental Health Foundation

Why the title Transforming Care? The Congress symbol is the butterfly, which transforms from a young insect, to a cocoon and then becomes a beautiful butterfly. The Congress is a combined effort of, the St. Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Mental Health Foundation, Turing Point, The Parnassia group in the Netherlands, SVP-CN of the BES Islands. The Congress is also supported by the Ministries of Justice and Education in an effort to create cooperation between the organizations.


Much has been suggested regarding care delivery systems, and one of the main discussions is cooperation between health care organizations as well as the stakeholders. What is being done? Formal cooperation agreements do exist between organizations in the Caribbean but the majority remains informal.

The goal of the congress is to transform how we deliver care, with the intention to improve lives of patients, prevention of criminality and community disruptions, including the economic advantage of cooperation and prevention. The focus will be on the youth the program focuses on ‘Co-creating younger peoples program for resilience.’

Transformation is a painful process just as the process of the insect cocooning, but the result is a beautiful butterfly. As organizers we believe that this congress realizes a need that benefits patients and supports many in caring for addicted and psychiatric patients. The role of stakeholders and caregivers as well as, the social aspects of addiction and psychiatric care, needs more exposure in order to reduce the stigma. We have therefore have made sincere efforts to present a Congress with a wide variety of experienced and established speakers.

In short the congress contents:

Saturday evening, September 28 is the official opening by, the Minister of Health Cornelius de Weever, registration and a reception. Health-care providers; local and from abroad are invited to attend.

Monday September 30, Day I.

The theme is; ‘Treatment methods and cooperation agreements.’

Psychiatrist from St. Maarten, Curaçao and the Netherlands, and amongst others;

Dr. Gilbert Thomas, well known for the years that he visited St. Maarten. He is living in the Netherlands and works on a Fact team (assertive community treatment).q

From bureau Berenschot in the Netherlands Drs. Kraal will lecture about "The importance of creating partnerships in Addiction and Mental Health"

Monday afternoon, 3 simultaneous workshops 1.30 PM that are repeated at 2.45 PM.

Dr. Gandotra of MHF with Kenneth Cuvalay of Statia will conduct a workshop on "Different contexts, different challenges, setting up psychiatric and addiction care and treatment between the islands of St. Maarten, Saba and Statia"

Drs. Schloss of Social Welfare on ‘Community based prevention.’

Monday evening starting 7.00 PM, 4 lectures for General Practitioners, Specialists & Pharmacists and simultaneously there will be 2 lectures for Students & Parents.

Prof. Walburg, President of the Supervisory board of the Trimbos Institute in the Netherlands and Drs. Havermans Researcher at the innovation Centre of Mental Health and the topic is "Flourishing St. Maarten"

Tuesday, October 1, Day II.

The theme is; ‘Addiction psychiatry and re-socialization.’ Lecturers are; Mrs. Martina of the Ministry of VSA about the results of the AIMS research (assessment instrument for Mental health systems) Mrs. Kestel of the Paho experiencing of the MHGAP and Dr. Kour of the Mental Health foundation "Addiction spectrum disorder" Dr. Noorlander from the Delta Psychiatric Centre in the Netherlands "A practical approach to addiction" and Drs. Steven van der Meer ‘Sheltered Housing and means to recovery".

Tuesday afternoon 3 simultaneous lectures; 1.30 PM that are repeated at 2.45 PM Case Discussions on, ‘Drugs and Alcohol abuse amongst the Youth of St. Maarten’ and ‘Which course to sail for child and youth psychiatry on small Islands?’ By, Dr. Arndell, Dr. Jurgensen, Dr. Ferero and Dr. van Wijk.

Tuesday evening starting 7.00 PM; ‘Co-creating younger peoples program for resilience.’ By Professor Walburg; for this program as much as possible students and parents, educators, and stakeholders are invited.

October 2, Day III.

Wednesday’s theme is; ‘Youth awareness and prevention’ 4 lectures

Resilience and addiction prevention, game addiction, community police, youth addiction and criminality, psychiatric evaluations and the justice system and involving parents in prevention and addiction programs, are the main topics for this morning. St. Maarten Chief of Police Mrs. Jacobs, and Public Prosecutor Mrs. van Nie and Mrs. Muller from the Parnassia group, are the speakers.

The afternoon workshop topics are: "You are UniQue: Youth prevention and treatment program for drug use, abuse and dependency", by Ms. Pengel from FMA Curaçao and ‘A chain approach: Youth/Addiction/Criminality’ by Mrs. Jacobs and Mrs. van Nie.

This Congress is BIG accredited for psychiatrists and general practitioners.

We hope to welcome as much as possible persons from St. Maarten and the region.

More detailed information is available on the web-site