Health Professionals Discuss Mental Health Care in Antigua

Following the incident on New Year’s Day which left 15 year old Shaveesa Gasper nursing 2nd and 3rd Degree Burns, Health Professionals discussed a growing concern about mental health in Antigua and Barbuda.

Neighbors of the family have been saying that the mother had shown signs of being mentally unstable after reports indicated that the mother of the teen set her alight after having doused her with Gasoline.

Weighing in on the matter, Psychiatrist Dr. Griffin Benjamin indicated that he would not be surprised if Gasper’s mother was suffering from an undiagnosed mental health issue.

He stated that even when these conditions are diagnosed; there is no proper access to care and treatment for these individuals in Antigua which needs to be improved upon.

Also assessing the issue, PAHO Representative for the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados Godfrey Xuereb stated that in many situations of this nature, it is always unfortunate when poor mental health is an issue.

The PAHO Representative indicated that the organization has been working along with health professionals throughout the region to ensure that they can identify mental disorders in patients.

Xuereb stated that structures need to be put in place to ensure that mental health is dealt with properly, not only in Antigua and Barbuda, but among the wider Caribbean.

Last week, Shaveesa Gasper was airlifted from the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre to Martinique to undergo treatment at the burn centre there. Officials disclosed that her injuries were too severe, so the teen was then moved to Paris France where she will undergo reconstructive plastic surgery.

News Reporter

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