MONTEGO BAY, St James — Medical officer of health for St James Dr Marcia Johnson-Campbell says despite the challenges being experienced by the health sector in the wake of COVID-19, there will be no disruption of service for mentally ill patients in the parish.
“We continue to provide service for them and encourage them to continue to come to our health centres. However, persons who cannot come to the health centres, we do home visits, and that will continue”, said Dr Johnson-Campbell.
“If there are homeless, mentally ill persons that are on our register, we will continue to monitor, and we also do visits to their locations to provide them with medication. The situation may change after, but at this time, we are offering our routine services to those who are mentally ill.”
Nurse Joy Crooks, manager of the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI) in Montego Bay, noted, however, that their operation is “slightly disrupted,” as they are practising all safety standards as outlined by the ministry of health and wellness.
“We are usually open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, however we will now be open daily from 8:00am to 1:00pm, serving two meals, breakfast, and lunch, along with their medication, as well as providing all that is needed for safe hygiene,” said Crooks.
She further emphasised that the coronavirus has created extra stress for the patients within her care, and encouraged family members to be as supportive as possible.
“We encourage all family members to give support in whatever way possible and help to supply necessary hygienic needs. This crisis creates extra stress, uncertainty and can be overwhelming. Their [mentally ill patients] pattern of daily activity is disturbed, so you have to be constantly reassuring them and encouraging them to take the medication,” Crooks explained.
— ONOME SIDOO
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