Photo 1 - Rotaract - Rotary Sunrise members.JPG

Mental Health Unit waiting room gets a facelift

The Mental Health Outpatient Unit Waiting Room at the Cayman Islands Hospital has been transformed into an area of comfort and recreation, thanks to volunteers of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise. Paint, sweat, smiles and love were the perfect combination needed to transform the area into one of enjoyment for patients and visitors.In addition to giving the room a new paint job, the Rotarians donated a new television, DVD player, wall mounted magazine racks and pictures for the walls. They also donated toys, books, chairs and a table for children. They were assisted by members of the Rotaract Club of Grand Cayman.Christine Matthews of Rotary Sunrise said Programme Coordinator and Liaison Officer-At Risk Youth Michael Myles was instrumental in proposing the project to the club.Over the last 10 years Mr. Myles has been accompanying young people and their families to the Mental Health Outpatient Unit at the HSA.“The lack of education and stigma in our country continues to make it challenging for our young people and their families to seek help. By accompanying them to receive that help, it makes it easier for youth and their families to commit to the visit,” he explained.As a result of these visits he saw an opportunity for improvement.He felt that by redecorating and providing small resources like crayons, coloring books and television the ambience of the facility would improve. He believed this would help to reduce some of the stress and anxiety patients experience during their wait.“Many of the waiting areas at the hospital have comfortable chairs, a TV and reading materials. These small items reduce stress and anxiety and provide a positive distraction. Sadly, implementing these things are rarely a priority, especially in a sensitive environment like Mental Health,” said Mr. Myles.With this in mind and the desire to help to improve the experience of the Mental Health Outpatient Unit patients he sought the assistance of Rotary.The Rotarians took a tour of the Unit and soon after went to work on its waiting room.“I now visit Mental Health with clients and the environment is so much healthier and welcoming. I would like to thank Rotary Sunrise for making this project happen,” Mr. Myles said.Psychiatrist Dr. Arline McGill echoed these sentiments stating that, “The Mental Unit staff were thrilled about Rotary’s decision to give our waiting room a makeover and impressed with the results. I personally feel that it has improved the appearance of the department and the new television and DVD player has helped us provide waiting children with a positive video experience. We thank Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise for their donation. It is well appreciated.”Upon completion of the project, Haresh Ramchandani District Governor of Rotary International for 10 countries and 15 islands, including the Cayman Islands, visited the hospital to view the final product. Mr. Ramchandani said he is proud of the work of the Rotarians. “It is very good to know that we are making a difference. We are really seeing as an organization what we have done and what we can do. And we plan to accomplish even more,” he said.Patients have already started to provide their feedback on the newly improved area. One patient said the changes made the area more “calming”, “welcoming” and “peaceful”; the patient was “pleasantly surprised”. Another patient described the room as “lovely”.Ms. Matthews said she hopes the area’s facelift will continue to make the experience of patients more comfortable and enjoyable.“We are always happy to partner with the Health Services Authority to improve the quality of care that people in the Cayman Islands receive,” she said.