TILBURG–With the facilities of the two St. Maarten organisations for mental care in St. Maarten, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) and Turning Point Foundation for Rehabilitation, in ruins, Foundation The Quill has started a fundraising initiative to assist. Mental clients, a highly vulnerable group in society, are in urgent need.
Moved by the images of destruction and the suffering of the clients, Foundation The Quill Chairman Kenneth Cuvalay, who has worked in mental health care in St. Eustatius and Saba since 2010, decided that Turning Point and MHF needed all the support they could get, also because the two organisations are not getting any form of reconstruction aid from the St. Maarten or Dutch Government.
The building MHF for psychiatric care is damaged, as well as the vehicles used for crisis care and transport of clients. The building of Turning Point for addiction care and rehabilitation is completely destroyed with the roof gone and severe water damage to the interior. Clients have been taken to another building.
Cuvalay described the urgent situation faced by the Directors of the two foundations, Dr. Judith Arndell of Turning Point and Dr. Sachin Gandotra of MHF, both of whom he has closely worked with in the past seven years. “Things are tough for them, but more so for their clients for client care has become very limited. Clients of the two institutions are vulnerable. Many have become homeless after the hurricane and are roaming the streets with insufficient access to food, water and care.”
The MHF and Turning Point don’t have the means and manpower to locate their clients, to provide care and ensure that the clients take their medication. “Clients, already vulnerable, are suffering,” said Cuvalay, motivating why he has initiated a campaign to help the mental health care sector rebuild.
“Services to clients has been completely stopped or, at its very best, severely hampered by the destruction of the buildings and transport facilities. Much of the staff time is even going on fundraising for food for clients who lost their homes. The regular subsidisation of these institutions is usually very limited and there is no budget for repairs or for extra care and trauma programmes,” said Cuvalay.
“The aim of our campaign is to help the mental health care sector on St. Maarten recover and rebuild after the wake of destruction left by Hurricane Irma. The two organisations are not government owned and are not getting direct help from the Netherlands like Saba and St. Eustatius,” he stated. The organisations also fall outside the assistance of the Red Cross.
The MHF and Turning Point need help to recover, rebuild and support the people, said Cuvalay who wants to get the two institutions “up and running” as soon as possible. The organisations also provide services to clients in Saba and St. Eustatius. Clients from these islands are regularly sent to St. Maarten for acute care and long-term clinical treatment.
Cuvalay’s campaign aims to collect funds through donations. Funds are needed to purchase building materials and tools to reconstruct the damaged buildings, the purchase of medication, as well as the establishing of a trauma counselling programme, and assistance to uninsured, needy residents and those requiring treatment.
Information can be found on: http://foundationthequill.com/rebuildmentalhealthsxm.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/69975-fundraising-initiative-for-mental-care-organisations