Monday, April 23, 2012
Port of Spain, April 20, 2012:
Officials from the Ministry of Health, North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) and the St Ann’s Hospital toured the Tumpuna Road Rehabilitation Centre on Wednesday April 18th 2012 to determine the requirements to refurnish and expand services at the Centre. This visit to the Rehabilitation Centre is a follow-up to the Honourable Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan’s tour of the St Ann’s Hospital on March 23rd 2012 during which he indicated that approximately sixty percent (60%) of the patients at the St Ann’s Hospital can be moved into community care programmes. Dr Khan noted then that the presence of these patients has led to overcrowding and the inability to accommodate some acute psychiatric patients. Refurbishment and expansion works at the Tumpuna Rehabilitation Centre will facilitate the transfer of additional patients from the St Ann’s Hospital for reintegration back into society.
Ms Trudy Harding-Rouse, Manager Mental Health Programme at the Ministry of Health and Dr Ian Hypolite, Medical Chief of Staff at the St Ann’s Hospital led the tour of the Rehabilitation Centre. Dr Hypolite noted that some repairs are necessary to the Centre. “A major part of the problem is the repair of the roof in the main block which affects all of the floors in the main block and compromises accommodation for patients. Hence, an area that normally accommodates approximately twenty (20) patients cannot be used due to flooding. There are other general repairs that are required since it is an old building, but the roof works will take precedence”.
Ms Harding-Rouse noted “The global thrust is towards the reintegration of persons who have been successfully treated for mental disorders back into community. The Tumpuna Road Rehabilitation Centre is part of the Ministry’s Mental Health Programme. They have a successful psychosocial rehabilitation programme, so this is a good area to transit the level 1 – 3 patients at St Ann’s, those patients who can assist themselves with minimal supervision and basic treatment. They can be trained and re-trained for reintegration into society.”
The repairs and expansion works are expected to be completed before the end of 2012. Representatives from the Project Management Units at both the Ministry of Health and the NWRHA were also on the tour.
Importance of psychosocial rehabilitation
All patients suffering from severe and persistent mental illness require rehabilitation. The goal of psychosocial rehabilitation is to help mentally disabled individuals to develop the emotional, social and intellectual skills needed to live, learn and work in the community with the least amount of professional support. The overall philosophy of psychosocial rehabilitation comprises of two intervention strategies.
The first strategy is individual-centered and aims at developing the patient’s skills in interacting with a stressful environment. The second strategy is ecological and directed at developing environmental resources to reduce potential stressors. Most disabled persons need a combination of both approaches. The refinement of psychosocial rehabilitation has achieved a point where it should be made readily available for every mentally disabled person to obtain his or her maximum level of functioning. Medication reduces symptoms but it does not teach social and independent living skills to the mentally ill.
Goal of psychosocial rehabilitation
Enabling persons with persistent and serious mental illness to live a normal life in the community causes a shift away from a focus on an illness model towards a model of rehabilitation and functional recovery. Therefore, other outcome measures apart from clinical conditions become relevant. Especially social role functioning – including social relationships, work and leisure as well as quality of life and family burden – is of major interest for the mentally disabled individuals living in the community.
As a general rule, people with psychiatric disabilities tend to have the same life aspirations as people without disabilities in their society or culture. These include:
a) Their own housing
b) An adequate education and meaningful work career
c) Satisfying social and intimate relationships
d) Participation in community life with full rights
Tumpuna Road Rehabilitation Centre
2nd from left - Dr Ian Hypolite Medical Chief of Staff St Anns Hospital makes a point to Trudy Harding Rouse Manager Mental Health Programme-2nd from right.
L-R - Dr Stafford Pierre Head of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme in deep conversation with Dr Ian Hypolite Medical Chief of Staff St Anns Hospital and Ms Trudy Rouse Manager Mental Health Programme Ministry of Health