“Together for Mental Health” is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
During the month of May, there will be a series of interviews with patients admitted to the
Mental Health Rehabilitation Center to highlight voices that many times go unheard. The names
used are not their own as we wish to protect their identities.
Mr. Mackey is looking forward to celebrating his 56th birthday in a few months even though he
would still be living at the Mental Health Rehabilitation Center. He has two adult children who
he loves dearly but has not heard from or seen them in a long time. Mr. Mackey is a skilled mason but says that he can do other types of work in construction and that is how he “makes a living” when he is not at the Centre.
He could not remember too much of when he was initially admitted to the Mental Health RehabilitationCenter but he does remember that his mother and sister took him to the hospital (Milton Cato Memorial Hospital) because he felt sick. He said all he knows is that he had a “nervous breakdown” and at that time “he felt like giving up”, he was also hearing voices (Auditory Hallucinations.) He was then admitted to the Center for the first time.
Mr. Mackey’s case is like many, where some of his family members have lost contact with him and the others do not wishto have him back home. He has not seen his children for a long time and misses them.Mr. Mackey’s case shows a common challenge with mentally ill patients where family and social support fluctuates making it problematic for the patient’s discharge planning, overall emotional wellbeing and rehabilitation.
Individuals living with a mental health condition often feel deprived of their right to be treated with dignity and are repeatedly faced with discrimination at home, at work and in the community. Mr. Mackey would like the public to know that people living with a mental illness “want to be the same like everybody and some need love”. He also focused on care and treatment and “wants patients to come and get their treatment” as non-adherence is one of the main issues for numerous re-admissions to the Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre and he urges Vincentians to live lovingly with one another.
Ms. Roselle Solomon
Msc. Social Work