In depth investigation launched into passing of Mental Health Patient at Philipsburg Holding Facility | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Respect and consideration for the family of a patient of the Mental Health Foundation, who passed in a designated cell at the House of Detention in Philipsburg, must be observed in their time of bereavement. The Minister of Justice reached out to the family and has extended condolences on behalf of the Government and her person.

An in-depth investigation is being conducted by the authorities into the passing of this patient within the facilities mentioned. It must be stated clearly that the patient was not detained at the facility in Philipsburg but was placed in said facility under the supervision of the Mental Health Foundation.

In light of an agreement between the House of Detention and the Mental Health Foundation a facility is created for temporary placement at the House of Detention as a means to assist the foundation. Placement in a dedicated cell may be opted for in the interest of the patient and in protection of the public as was done in this instance.

The Minister was quoted in saying:” We shall await the outcome of the investigation underway and further actions will be determined and undertaken as may be required based on the results. The investigation is being conducted by the National Detectives of Sint Maarten”.

While the results may address the circumstances around the passing of the patient mentioned, this incident has brought to the foreground the fact that facilities on Sint Maarten may not have the required capacity for persons struggling with such health issues.

While this issue will be addressed within a broader context within the Government the Minister of Justice will continue to pursue available avenues and means to ensure persons suffering with mental health issues, housed at the House of Detention continue to receive the required expert attention and care.