T&T has a mental health problem

THERE are no criteria for the opening of rehabilitation centres in Trinidad and Tobago. This was pointed out by Prof Gerard Hutchinson, head of psychiatry of The University of the West Indies, in an interview with the Express last Friday. He said, however, that individuals opening these establishments “need to apply for some permission to various authorities, including the Ministry of Health”, and they should be regulated and regularly inspected.

Asked whether it is the norm at medical institutions to have violent inmates secured (tied down) and placed in isolation cells, the professor said, “Chemical restraint is preferable, that is, with medication, but physical restraints and seclusion/isolation are still used in some psychiatric facilities albeit with padding of the walls, and close supervision.”