This ceremony which brings us here today represents a significant milestone
in the development of mental health services on the island. This new facility
which I will be receiving later; during this ceremony, on behalf of the people
of Saint Lucia will provide new hope for the clients who will navigate through
Today we are breaking new ground with our decentralized approach to mental
health care. This new direction is based on a best practice standard that
includes reducing the dependence on institutionalized or custodial care and
replacing it with rehabilitative and residential facilities.
This impressive New National Mental Wellness Centre will provide truly
integrated, modern mental health care, including aged care, acute hospital care
and community care. It will provide support to individuals with serious and
persistent mental illness in acquiring the skills and abilities which will allow
them to return to their communities and to be integrated with their family and
I understand that this institution’s philosophy of care is that every person is
entitled to be cared for in the least restrictive environment possible. So while
this world class facility is designed to provide a safe and protective
environment, clients are also encouraged to assume personal responsibility. Our
staff will work closely with clients to determine what level of community and
family support is required before they are integrated with the wider community.
Mr. Chairman, it has been said that every nation is judged by how it treats its
least fortunate. The moral test of any government is how it uses its resources
to take care of those who are in the dawn of life, the children, those who are
in the twilight of their years, the aged and those in the shadows of life, the
sick, the needy, and the handicapped.
Mr. Chairman my administration understands this and this is why we will spare no
effort to bring relief to the marginalized and dispossessed.
Since assuming office government has pursued a number of initiatives aimed at
achieving specific strategic imperatives, including increasing social welfare
payments to the elderly; the construction of a brand new facility to house
clients of the Malgretoute Home. We are about to open a new transit home; we
have provided substantial subsidy of basic commodities and cooking gas. This
list is by no means exhaustive.
Mr. Chairman this is a government with a social conscience and we will continue
to pursue vigorously programmes with a direct positive effect on lives of
persons in the various communities.
In the pursuit of our social agenda we have partnered with the corporate
community and various non-governmental organizations and we thank them immensely
for their support. But it will be remiss of me at this stage if I did not
mention the various voluntary groups, and persons who have provided invaluable
support to the Golden Hope Hospital over the years. I speak of:
The Friends of Golden Hope hospital, the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club, the
Jaycees, the late Professor Michael Beaubrun, the late Dr. Malcolm Rigsby, the
late Dr. Raju, The late Urban Lesmond, The late Mederick Alexander, Mrs. Carmen
Alexander, Sister Marlene Whitfield, Mr. Patrick Lammie, The late Romanus
Lansiquot, Lady Janice Compton, Lady Marilyn Flossaic. If I inadvertently
omitted any of our early pioneers then I apologize sincerely.
I wish also to pay special tribute to the staff of Golden Hope Hospital, both
current and past, who over the years have had to endure working in extremely
Mr. Chairman we also owe a debt of Gratitude to the Government and people of the
Republic of China (Taiwan). May I say to you Ambassador Tom Chou, we rejoice in
our relationship with your country. I hope you think that our partnership has
been kept well during my Prime Ministership and I hope it will continue to be
kept well for a long time to come. Please convey to your government and people
our sincere thanks and appreciation for redesigning and funding the completion
of this excellent facility.
Also may I place on record our appreciation and gratefulness to the management
of Holdyear Construction Company for donating this wonderful auditorium.
I urge the management of this new facility to increase the institution’s
flexibility and agility to improve client demand.
REMEMBER ALWAYS THAT GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF THE GREAT…SO LET US AT ALL TIMES
STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE OPERATIONS OF THIS INSTITUTION.
May this important health institution benefit the people of Saint Lucia.
I thank you.