After 31 years of service to the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA), Cayman’s first Mental Health Nurse, Diana Parchment, has retired.Over 50 of her colleagues gathered in the Hibiscus Conference Room at the George Town Hospital on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 to celebrate her long service to the Authority and contributions to the mental health field of the Cayman Islands.Many shared memories of moments they have spent with Nurse Parchment and instances where she has demonstrated exemplary devotion to her patients and provided mentorship to her co-workers.“Nurse Parchment has established such a high standard of care during her tenure at the HSA that she leaves behind some big shoes to fill,” said Dr Arline McGill, Head of Psychiatry and Behavioural Services at the hospital.Having worked for seven years as a registered general nurse at the Cayman Islands Hospital, Nurse Parchment completed her training as a registered mental health nurse and became the country’s first community mental health nurse in 1994. Working in a small team consisting of herself, a psychiatrist and a counsellor, she was initially responsible for the mental health nursing care of all mental health patients throughout the Cayman Islands. In those earlier years without the aid of an inpatient facility, she not only made visits to patients’ homes but also to those in police custody and Her Majesty’s Prisons Northward and Fairbanks. Where necessary Nurse Parchment escorted patients to and from hospitals in the United States of America, Bahamas and Jamaica and was always willing and able whenever called upon.Constantly open to new concepts and developments, she participated in the implementation of new initiatives such as the 2013 Mental Health Law.“As our mental health services grew she taught, guided and befriended the new staff. Those who remain and those who have left will always think of her as kind, compassionate and above all, professional in her duties,” said Phil Slater, Mental Health Nurse Manager at the Cayman Islands Hospital.“Nurse Parchment has been an integral part of the development of mental health support on these islands. She has been a dedicated employee and will always be remembered. We wish her a happy and fulfilling retirement,” said Chief Executive Officer of the HSA, Lizzette Yearwood.