ST. PETERS–A man suspected of having mental health issues who has been causing some disturbance in the St. Peters and surrounding areas over the past weeks, was removed from the streets on Thursday and taken to Mental Health Foundation (MHF) for treatment.
Residents in the areas the man frequented complained that the man defecated anywhere he felt like; walked into people’s homes and, in at least one case, ate their food; stripped naked and walked the streets; made anywhere his bed; and was a general nuisance and concern.
Health Minister Emil Lee told The Daily Herald on Friday that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs VSA had recently received several complaints from concerned citizens regarding the man, “who was disrupting public order and becoming a public safety concern.”
“Regarding his case, I can comment that immediate action was taken and the Ministry, together with the Mental Health Foundation, was able to address the situation with the assistance of the Police Force and the Ambulance Services, who also received complaints,” Lee said.
The man was transported to MHF on Thursday, September 20, for further treatment and a plan is in place to further ensure management of care in light of his condition. “I cannot comment on the specific details of his condition or treatment plan, as this concerns patient privacy,” Lee said in an invited comment on the matter.
When asked what can be done for persons in similar situations, Lee said: “We do recognise that there is a shared concern for the safety and wellbeing of persons who are homeless on our streets and suffer from drug/alcohol abuse and sometimes in combination with mental health issues.
“To answer your direct question regarding what can be done, it is simply a complex situation where the collaborative efforts of the Ministry and, for example, the MHF and social workers come together towards solutions. It is a challenge, as often even family members are unable to assist their loved one anymore, due to the extent of the health and social crisis of the individual. Here is where the Ministry can step in and attempt to address the matter with a combination of support systems we have in place.”
Lee said that, as each case is different, the ministry does what it can within the boundaries of care and service that can be provided, also taking into consideration the condition of the persons and their legal consent.
“We are dealing with human beings and we cannot do as we please, but must respect their rights and act according to the limitations we have. There are, however, procedures for escalated cases, and the Ministry, police and MHF, etc., all play a role in ensuring the wellbeing of individuals, but also public safety due to such conditions. We do our best to act diligently on urgent cases and handle in the best interest of the individual, towards long-term management of a case,” he said.
Lee said he wanted the community to know that the ministry receives and acts on the concerns and complaints brought it. “Not every result may be produced as quickly as the other, but with our partners we dedicate ourselves to finding solutions for these challenging cases,” he said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/80880-man-causing-ruckus-in-st-peters-taken-to-mhf