The Governor General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason was treated to a Christmas programme held at the Psychiatric Hospital this morning. Patients were eager to share their talents with the Governor General with many of them singing popular Christmas classics such as Give Love on Christmas Day, Away in A Manger, Once upon a Christmas and The First Noel.
Hospital Director David Leacock said the hospital is continuing its quest to ensure that persons entering the facility are treated in the same manner as if they entered the state-owned Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“We recognize that we are not at the point we would like to be but we are making steady, consistent strides towards reaching the point where we feel comfortable that any person entering the facility for care can feel that it is no different to entering the QEH for care,” Leacock said, adding that the refurbishment programme is continuing.
“The… refurbishment programme will see the refurbished medical unit completed and fit for use by December 31. The renovations of the F ward unit shall commence on February 9, 2019,” he said.
Leacock noted sponsorship has helped to develop a much-needed center.
“The hospital has been fortunate to receive charitable contributions from philanthropic entities. These donations have [helped to created] the Thrive Family Center which will be ready to receive its first clients on January 2, 2019,” he said, adding that the hospital has also been approved by the Maria Holder Trust to renovate two buildings to house expanded upgraded facilities for the occupational and recreational therapy departments.
Leacock stressed that the Governor General’s visit to share in the Christmas cheer allows the employees to feel a sense of dignity as there is a stigma associated with the hospital.
“Her visit symbolizes her awareness of the need for those who reside and work within these walls to feel a sense of respect and dignity often not afforded by the virtue of the stigma associated with being mentally unwell or having accessed the services of this institution. I should let you know that your visit is a highlight for many of our patients,” he said.
The patients were treated to delightful performances by Miss Barbados Talent Teen 2018 Cherice Richards as well as Richard Stoute Teen Talent 2017 winner Trinity Clarke. Mouths were left in awe as they heard the vocal ranges that came from Richards and Clarke.
Governor General Dame Sandra Mason told the patients and staff that she believed the hospital has become a forgotten entity.
“I think it is time that people pay special attention to us and brighten the corner where we live,” Mason said, extending best wishes to all patients and staff. “I wish you all the best in the coming years and I hope that you are in good health. To the ones that are not in good health, I would want to wish you the very best of health. To you and all of your families, all the very best for Christmas and the coming year,” Mason said. (LG)