Work on Cayman’s long-term residential mental health facility in East End is continuing to progress apace and is on track for opening at year’s end, Mental Health Commission chairman Dr. Marc Lockhart confirmed.
Lockhart, speaking with the Cayman Compass over the weekend, said the project has been moving forward and work continues at the High Rock, East End site.
“We’re more than halfway complete with the overall project,” he said.
Lockhart said last week he met new Health Minister Sabrina Turner and “she’s on board, fully committed to continuation of the project”.
He also said he met with the ministry chief officer and hospital officials, who will need to clarify the final details of the next steps.
“But we’re all on board and moving forward with hopefully opening that facility by the end of this year,” he said, adding, if not, then the country can expect it to open at the beginning of next year.
The project has been on the cards for the past several years, with construction starting during lockdown last June.
The $15 million complex on 15 acres will have nine cottages – each of which can house six patients – and a central building for administration, dining and activities. It will also feature an orchard and vegetable garden, and even farm animals.
The Cayman Islands Hospital has an eight-bed short-term ward for mental-health patients, reinforcing the need for the facility, officials have repeatedly said.
At present, patients in need of long-term mental health care are sent off island, typically to Jamaica or the US.
Once the Cayman facility is completed, some of those patients will be able to come back to the island to continue inpatient care.
The Compass reached out to the health ministry for comment on the project; we are awaiting a further update.