More details have emerged on the progress of the mental health facility planned on 15 acres of land in East End.

Ministry of Health officials have not responded to questions from the Compass about the reasons behind delays for the project, but have indicated that completion is not expected until late next year – a year later than originally planned.

Dr. Marc Lockhart, Cayman Islands Mental Health Commission chairman, is close to the project. He said preliminary bids that came in last year ended up costing too much. Ministry officials did not confirm that.

In an email, Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn said, “The construction of the mental health facility will be retendered this week.”

The request for bids went online Monday, with a submission deadline of March 22.

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“The Government remains in full support of this important project,” Ms. Ahearn said, even though “there has unfortunately been some delay in the project timeline.”

The project has been broken into five separate elements: an administration building; three separate contracts for three cottages each; and a contract for “external works.”

Currently, the only mental health inpatient service available is an eight-bed facility at the Cayman Islands Hospital. Dr. Lockhart said the demand for care regularly exceeds resources.

Moves are also being made to provide more support for outpatients, with bids closing Wednesday for a 3,487-square-foot behavioral health office on Smith Road.

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