Mental illness is a serious and growing problem in Trinidad and Tobago. The government offers free assessment, prevention and treatment of mental illnesses to all citizens. Treatment is offered on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the nature of the mental disorder.
How do I access mental health care?
If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or you feel you may have a mental disorder that requires treatment, you can access mental health care simply by visiting one of the mental health facilities listed in the "Where can I access mental health care?" section below. Mental health care can be provided voluntarily when a mentally ill person seeks out treatment, or involuntarily when a mentally ill person urgently requires treatment but does not enter treatment voluntarily.
Voluntary treatment can be accessed by visiting a mental health care facility and filling out a "Voluntary Admission Form." The patient is then assessed and a course of treatment is suggested. Treatment can be given on an inpatient or outpatient basis.
Involuntary admission can take place in one of two ways. A mentally ill person can be brought to a treatment centre by friends or family, where an "Urgent Assessment Form" is filled out. The patient is then assessed and undergoes treatment, if appropriate. If it is not possible to bring the patient to a treatment centre, two independent psychiatric doctors must certify that the patient is mentally ill and requires treatment. The Medical Chief of Staff at the St. Ann's Hospital must be informed of this finding in writing. The Medical Chief of Staff then prepares an apprehension order and Mental Health Officers are instructed to apprehend the patient and admit him or her to a mental health facility. Please note that patients who are involuntarily admitted are kept at the facility until health care professionals determine that they can be released safely.
What kind of treatment is available?
People with mental illnesses can be treated as either inpatients (when they are admitted to a health care facility) or outpatients. Inpatient treatment can include acute and chronic patient care. Acute patient care involves medication and psychotherapy, while chronic patient care involves medication, psychotherapy and rehabilitation.
Outpatient treatment can include medication, psychotherapy and rehabilitation, and is administered at health centres that offer mental health care while the patient continues to live at home in his or her community.
Where can I access mental health care?
Inpatient treatment for extended periods of time is available only at the St. Ann's Hospital.
St. Ann's Hospital
St. Ann's Road
Tel. (868) 624-1151
Opening hours: 24 hours
For a list of other mental health facility locations, please follow the link below:
Mental Health Care Facilities
Where can I find more information?
For more information, please contact the mental health facility nearest you or the Ministry of Health.
5th Floor Sacred Heart Building
16-18 Sackville Street,
Port of Spain
Phone: (868) 285-9126 ext. 2577,2571,2573
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday except public holidays.
Mental Health Care Facilities