Psychiatric Hospital: Pictures Portray the Sorry Tale

The following was submitted by the public spirited citizen who has been working tirelessly to highlight the dilapidated conditions at the Black Rock Psychiatric Hospital.[…]

It is good to see traditional media encouraged to join the cause to promote news about the community. Traditional media too often allows political and other interest to manipulate the news – Barbados Underground

There more than one section of the mental institution that is run down or abandoned despite what is said to the media and the general public at large via the news paper.

One million dollars yearly on hospital and yet so many uncomfortable images are on displayed, staff week after week have been voicing their concerns via their unions. The publicity has forced ministers to deny obvious facts about the dilapidated state of the Black Rock institution and health official play down issues in media only after it look as bad press or warrant an investigation by those who are willing.

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Technology has facilitated more that ever for unsound voices to be heard and their matters be addressed in the manner in which they should as many who live and work within the Black Rock institution are often silenced by those in authority who would not like the shame of the conditions our mentally challenged are treated and expose to.

This week article surrounding the mental hospital has being circulating like never before in the media, our unions have be speaking out on conditions that affect human beings and ask our leaders to help improve conditions for staff and clients. It a fact the elderly and mentally challenge persons are often forgotten in most societies but it is inhumane to allow persons to be exposed to these conditions while our leaders play politics, public relations games and try to discredit person(s) who brought the issues to the forth front in the news paper by stating “some disgruntled employee”.

However it has being months so far this year that mental hospital made highlights in the media first starting in the parliament house and pictures were shown to the media the next day and yet no official call that person disgruntled or exploiting to achieve the ends of an industrial relations in the work place.

There is more to the development of the mental hospital that is said but pictures said more than a thousand words

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7 Comments on “Psychiatric Hospital: Pictures Portray the Sorry Tale”

  1. Paradox August 15, 2015 at 11:21 PM #

    Those who are responsible should be allotted a permanent bed at the said institution.

    I was able to visit that institution a few years ago during an open day for visitors. I took the opportunity because my only other opportunity to see ‘inside’ was to be admitted as a patient, because the environs did not permit me to return.

    I was shock to say the least. The place was archaic. It was easy to compare the buildings with the Victorian times, neglected, in need of being torn down and replaced by a modern structure.

    If conditions are so bad for the patients, it must be just as bad for those staff working in those same conditions. Morale must be extremely low for all.

    The pictures seen above, in this year 2015, ‘paint more than a thousand words’, Depressing, Neglect.

    To have a mentally ill person in the family makes one feel a sense of guilt because of the stigma attached to being mentally ill, which should not be in these times.

    In our ;mother country;, the same did occur. The mentally Ill could not speak for themselves; the family did not speak for them, so many were cast away in institutions, built in remote places. Many had no visitors, so the only people they saw from ‘outside’ of the institution were the staff employed at that institution.

    During the Margaret Thatcher government, it devised a strategy to improve the conditions without a plan, by closing many institutions, not for the benefit of those patients, but to provide land for housing, supermarkets and the like. Italy had done this before and the USA, but no one learned from the mistakes committed.

    Most of those institutions held thousands of patients. Some buildings were ‘listed buildings’; they were built to last and some are still standing today, while others were torn down to make way for industries.

    What about the patients who spent most of their lives in such institutions?

    Firstly the public were not accustomed to seeing institutionalised mentally ill on the streets, so they avoided them, where necessary.

    Some patients began to commit crimes, which assisted in the overcrowding of many ‘jails’; some were sent to ‘Special Hospitals’ and some of the most fortunate were provided accommodations at secure units.

    Later, Ministers responsible would quote statistics to prove that mental health care had /has improved, because fewer patients were receiving institutional inpatient care.

    Here are my solutions:

    (1)The only inmates at ‘Black-Rock’, should be the ministers responsible, past and present.

    (2)Provide modern facilities at or near the (NEW) general hospital.

    (3) Provide institutional care in approximately 3 Bungalow buildings ; One in the city, one to cater for the North and one to cater for those in the South of the country. Two of those buildings should contain space to accommodate 75 to 100 patients, with individual rooms.

    The third building should have secured facilities to cater for those who may need specialised secure care, (secure units).

    All three buildings should be equipped with facilities for occupation, education recreation.

    Open days to the public should be a regular occurrence.

    Patients in those institutions can become productive. Some can be employed in the kitchen, gardening; workshops for woodwork repair of furnitures, masonry,handicrafts, etc, under supervised specialist in those fields.


  2. Caswell Franklyn August 15, 2015 at 11:57 PM #

    Most people who see the pictorial evidence of the neglect at the Psychiatric Hospital would not believe that those pictures, which form part of this article, show some of the better conditions that exist there.


  3. Dompey August 16, 2015 at 12:20 AM #

    Caswell Franklyn

    And whose fault is it that the Mental Institution is in a dilapidated state of disrepair? Oh! Sorry, I guess the DLP administration is at fault because it commands the reign of power these days, and ought to take responsibility for what amounts to decades of turning a blind eye on the existing state of affairs at the Mental Institution.


  4. Dompey August 16, 2015 at 12:51 AM #

    Caswell Franklyn

    Who cares about the pictorial evidence of the neglect at the Psychiatric-Facility? What ought and should have been address long age are the unacceptable conditions at the Mental-Facility, during the many years of the BLP reign, and we wouldn’t have been faced with such deplorable conditions today. The past with its good and evil lives in the present sir, and the old is in the new concealed and the new is in the old revealed.


  5. Dompey August 16, 2015 at 2:30 AM #


    I love your proposals, but no way in them is there any mention of the improvement of care. There ought to be an improvement in medication and behavioural therapies to address the unique needs of patient population at this newly proposed Mental-Facility, or else all efforts would be futile and self-defeating. And how about an outpatient facility which addresses the minor concerns of the newly released psychiatric patients?


  6. Dompey August 16, 2015 at 3:16 AM #


    Who will be charged with compiling the statistical data on: restraints, isolation, patient on patients assaults, patient on staff assaults, staff abuse of patients, wrongful death associated with staff negligence, wrongful death associated with the administration of medication, wrongful death associated with the improper use of restraints, suicidal death associated with staff negligence, death of staff at the hands of patients, and escapes etc. The accumulation of such data can improve the overall operational function of the facility, if efforts are made to learn from past mistakes, and to implement the appropriate preventive measures which would guard against such accordance in the future.


  7. David August 16, 2015 at 4:40 AM #


    If that is the case then let the public have the pictorial evidence now that the matter is topical.


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