Bonaire Youth & Homeless Care Visit

While in Bonaire, for the 10th anniversary of Mental Health Caribbean (MHC) and for the graduation of our psychologists, psychiatrist Kitty Pelswijk and project manager Eileen Healy visited the Bonaire MHC youth care division and the guided living and homeless care facility.
The youth care provides care to youths until 18 year old with psychiatric problems. Psychiatric diagnosis and evaluations take place there. Predominantly they see youths with problems due to the family situation, including abuse. The facility also has 2 classrooms where individual programs are offered for specific age and problem groups, until they can return to their regular schools.

Lots of outreaching work is done as well, this includes home visits and family support, the MHC team works closely with foster care and the justice system, regular team meetings take place between the organizations to discuss approaches and developments of the clients. The aim is to prevent reoccurrences.

Since COVID the case load has increase immensely and specially crisis situations.

The guided living and homeless facility has 18 rooms with a separate unit for the homeless care. The psychiatric patients are offered shelter providing they report to the center before 11.00 PM.
Psychiatric care in guided living offers programs to re-integrate clients into society such as cooking, cleaning, laundry all according to a schedule. They also house goats and chicken that are cared for by the clients, gardening, sports and music are also part of the program.

Henk Weekers and Charenne Weide therapists at the Youth Care facility facilitated the visist and Sidney Roch at the Guided living facility. It was a great opportunity to be able to see and be informed of the developments of out sister organizations.

MHF has a contract with MHC for the past 10 years providing admissions and crisis care for Saba and St. Eustasies.
Through MHC several training programs have been made possible and now also education programs, efforts are on their way to commence with Social Psychiatric education for the nurses.

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