Saturday 28 March, 2020

VIDEO: Stop using 'Jenkins' label for Psychiatric Hospital

Barbadians are being urged to stop perpetuating the negative stigma surrounding mental illness by referring to the Psychiatric Hospital by names such as ‘Jenkins’ and the 'mental’.

This from Senior Registrar at the Hospital, Dr Ronald Chase. He noted the Hospital has made significant strides over the last two decades in the ways in which they address and treat mental illness, however, many still continue to mislabel the institution.

Dr Chase said there have been new initiatives in community health services which allow Barbadians to be treated for mental health issues without having to step foot inside the Black Rock, St Michael facility.

“Culturally we have not gotten pass ‘Jenkins’, we have not gotten pass ‘de mental’. We are more out there but we still are fighting this ‘Jenkins’ label.

Over the years we have seen an increase in the number of [community] clinics in Barbados. We have seen the advent of the Child Guidance Clinic and it has expanded the hours … as a result access has increased. And that is only one aspect.”

Senior Psychologist at the Hospital, Carol-Ann Fergusson-Chase echoed similar sentiments.

Referencing a proposal made by Minister of Environment, Trevor Prescod to employ ex-prisoners and out-patients of the Hospital, Fergusson-Chase said the public criticism is testament to the stigma former and current patients of the Hospital are subjected to.

Fergusson-Chase stressed those battling with mental illness need acceptance from the community as well as respect and a nurturing environment.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: