Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Requests Government to Follow-up on Finances for Mental Health Foundation Upon Learning of Difficulties

During her weekly call in radio program One on One with the Prime Minister, the PM stressed that she is specifically following up with regards to the subsidy for the Mental Health Foundation. The PM’s comments come as a result of recent incidents within the community that were carried out by individuals with mental issues; “It is regretful and coincidental that the matter that brought the issue of mental health care on St. Maarten to the fore had to do with the fact that crimes were committed and persons lost their lives. As I have already expressed upon learning upon these incidents there is no excuse for violence, murder or ill treatment. In the case of the young student, she was attacked by someone from the neighborhood and some references were made on the mental state of that person. We have a Mental Health Foundation doing extremely good work but one that is faced with challenges. The Foundation is subsidized by Government but indeed the needs of the organization are great. I requested that from Government side that we look into the finances of the Mental Health Foundation upon learning of the issues that they have been dealing with. I will follow up with these and ensure that all will be done to support this important institution.
“I had the opportunity to as soon as I returned to the island from Montserrat to speak to the mother of the child and the details she explained to me were indeed frightening. This happened on the public road in the middle of the day and to hear about this as a mother it would send me crazy.
“There are a lot of issues that are faced by people on a daily basis; some persons can conceal this state but others not. More can be done on St. Maarten but we must also acknowledge that we have come a long way, not to long ago we had absolutely no care for those suffering from issues related to mental health on St. Maarten. During our island territory days things needed to be done but our legal parameters were not in place yet. Some persons got together and provided that service and Government subsidized the activities of that foundation but there are still some legal issues, including picking up persons and forcing them to have care, which must be looked at. This was a crime and you cant just attack someone, but if it is true that the person needed care in terms of mental care that care should indeed have been given,” commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.