From left: Dr. Felix Holiday, Erika van der Horst, Joy Arnell and Eileen Healy.
CAY HILL–Mental Health Foundation (MHF), represented by President of the board Dr. Felix Holiday and Secretary to the board Erika van der Horst, signed off on the purchase of 6,267 square metres of land in St. John’s Estate at the Tjon Ajong notary offices on Friday, July 23.
Also present for the occasion were Ministry Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Secretary General Joy Arnell and the foundation’s Projects Development officer Eileen Healy.
“Land that could meet the needs of the foundation is not easy to come by on St. Maarten,” MHF said in a press release. “The size and location, close to White and Yellow Cross [Care Foundation – Ed.] and St. Maarten Medical Center, was the reason to consider the St. John’s land.”
MHF said it also needed permission from its main financer of care, Social and Health Insurances SZV, to be able to get a mortgage for the purchasing of the land. Once SZV agreed, Windward Islands Bank (WIB) approved the mortgage for the purchase.
“At the same time, with the support of our Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, the project for the building was approved by the World Bank and NRPB [National Recovery Program Bureau]. VSA Minister Omar Ottley personally supported the need to improve the situation of the foundation in order to be able to meet the increasing need for care,” said the release.
When MHF started providing care in 2006 there was only a clinic and ambulant care. According to the release, all crisis patients were stabilised in the police station and then flown to Curaçao.
“At that time, it was about 15 patients per year and this did not go without incidents. It was very hard on patients, family and the police and MHF staff,” said MHF.
Today MHF caters to 400 crisis cases per year and the foundation said it is very much aware that much still needs to happen to enhance the care needs on the island. MHF said that together with its stakeholders, the next step is to develop a facility that meets the care needs of the population of St. Maarten.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/mhf-purchases-land-in-st-john-s-estate