The recently formed Mental Health Commission has held its first meeting.
“The Mental Health Commission was set up to ensure that the rights of our mental health patients and their families are protected,” said Health Minister Osbourne Bodden.
“This represents a first for the Cayman Islands and I am very pleased to have the available expertise and knowledge serve as members of the Commission. I would like to thank the members of the Commission for agreeing to serve and I look forward to receiving periodic updates on the work of the Commission,” he added.
The commission consists of representatives from various sectors, including those in the legal and healthcare fields, as well as advocates and laypeople.
The Mental Health Commission Law was passed in the Legislative Assembly last May. Cabinet appointed members in December.
The commission will make recommendations to government, service providers, and other stakeholders on ways to improve the local mental health system. Other functions of the commission include: hearing appeals, periodic review of the detained patient, advocacy, research and training programmes to reduce stigma and discrimination, and advising the minister of health.
The law deals with people who are involuntarily detained and the commission’s remit includes ensuring that the rights of the detained individuals are protected and the detention is in their best interest.
As such, an appeal process is established under the law for those who think they have been wrongly detained.