MONDAY DECEMBER 28, 2020: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- Mental illness has become even more prevalent around the world due to the social and psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trinidad and Tobago is no exception, so the Digicel Foundation in partnership with the Rotary Club of POS West and the Northwest Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) are making life a little easier for mental health patients.
The EPIC project for the refurbishment of the Acute Illness Triage Ward at the St Ann’s Hospital was officially launched on December 14th. Since the Triage Ward is the only admittance ward at the hospital, making the environment more welcoming was a priority.
The refurbishment included repainting the inner walls, replacing ceiling fans, fixing windows refinishing the flooring, light landscaping, getting a flat screen TV and games for patients’ recreational needs, and buying a portable vital signs monitor machine.
Dr Samuel Shafe, the Medical Director of the St Ann’s Hospital, said, “It’s a privilege to be here today. This project is about giving the users a better experience when they enter the hospital. That alone can make a difference in their recovery.”
Head Nurse Kabir Ramanan expressed a similar sentiment. “Mental illness is real and this is about making the transition easier,” he said.
“For us at the Rotary Club of Port of Spain West, this EPIC project is just one part of a full year of activities to increase awareness and reduce the stigma of mental illness in T&T,” revealed Sonya Phillips, President of the Rotary Club POS West.
Also in attendance were St Ann’s Hospital’s General Manager of Mental Health Services Keisha Lewis, Nursing Administrator Wendy Briggs, Administrator Gillian Baptiste, Project Leader for Rotary Club of POS West Garth Sobers, and Lynelle Callender, Project Coordinator for the Digicel Foundation.