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Guyana working towards removing patients from institutional psychiatric care

National Psychiatric Hospital, New Amsterdam (Photo: DPI)

In line with the updating of the mental health act, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony says the Government is working towards deinstitutionalising patients from psychiatric care.

The Minister of Health disclosed during today’s covid update that work is being done to have patients hospitalised with mental health issues be treated from their homes where possible.

“We have been constantly working to improve the facilities and services that we offer at the psychiatric hospital. One of the active programmes we will be working on is deinstitutionalising the patients that we have there. Once they are through their acute stage, they can be managed closer home. We don’t have to get a lot of people in the hospital itself. They can come into the clinic, get their medications and be managed from home."

The Health Minister says that since noting the state of neglect in mental health services across the country, the Government has been working over the years to improve services, particularly at the National Psychiatric Hospital.

“We have a new psychiatrist that has been relocated to the National Psychiatric Hospital. We have adequate staff at the institution. In addition to nursing staff, we have nursing assistants. We have psychiatric aids that are working there. We have more than 70 psychiatric aides that would assist patients on a 24-hour basis.”

The modernised Mental Health Protection and Promotion Act deals with preventing discrimination against persons with mental health issues and respecting their rights.

The Health Minister had noted that to properly enforce this, the legislation must complement cultural and societal changes.


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