CAY HILL, Sint Maarten – Today July 23, 2021 the Mental Health Foundation represented by the president of the board Dr. Felix Holiday and Erika van der Horst Secretary to the board, at the Notary offices of Tjon Ajong signed off on the purchase of 6,267 m2 of land in St. John’s.
Also present for the occasion was Joy Arnell Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, Labor and Social Affairs, and Eileen Healy projects development for the Foundation.
Land that could meet the needs of the foundation is not easy to come by on St. Maarten. The size and location, close to White Yellow Cross and the St. Maarten Medical Center was the reason to consider the St. John’s land.
MHF also needed permission from its main financer of care USZV to be able to get a mortgage for the purchasing of the land. Once USZV agreed the WIB approved the mortgage for the purchase.
At the same time with the support of our Ministry of Public Health, Labor and Social Affairs the project for the building was approved by the World Bank and NRPB. The Minister Omar Ottley personally supported the need to improve the situation of the foundation in order to be able to meet the increasing need for care.
When MHF started providing care in 2006 there was only a Clinic and Ambulant care, all crisis patients were stabilized in the Police station and then flown to Curaçao. At that time it was about 15 patients per year and this did not go without incidents. It was very hard on patients, family, and the police and MHF staff. Today MHF caters to 400 crisis cases per year and the foundation is very much aware that much still needs to happen to enhance the care needs on the Island.
Together with its stakeholders the next step is to develop a facility that meets the care needs of the population of St. Maarten.