The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

New mental health care facility opens its doors in Paola

Jake Aquilina Thursday, 10 June 2021, 11:48 Last update: about 8 days ago

A new mental health facility has been opened for mental health patients, facilitating the shift from Mount Carmel Hospital, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced.

This was done in accordance with the Government’s strategy to “relocate patients which have been for a number of years in mental care facilities, so that they move into facilities which are more in line with their needs and conditions,” the Health Minister said.

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This new facility, under the name of Casal Nuovo in Paola, can take up to 50 residents, and is part of a national strategy for mental health which is now in it’s second year, Fearne said.

He remarked that the strategy has 4 pillars. The first is prevention, where there would be awareness on mental health and for people to take care of it.

The second is curing patients when people, unfortunately, still face mental stress. “There will be instances for some of us when we need treatment, so we need facilities and services.” He said that a newly renovated ward in Mount Carmel was opened a few weeks ago in line with this strategy as well, apart from Casal Nuovo.  

“Mount Carmel, throughout the years, was used not only to give treatment to those of mental health, but also residents who perhaps wasn’t meant to be there. These patients will be taken out from there,” the Minister remarked.

The third pillar of the strategy is the support for patients who are not only being treated, but also in the community, and the final pillar is that of human resources. The Minister said that people will be trained and developed to help such people who face delicate times.

Chairman of Mental Health Services, Anton Grech, said that this new building will help mental health patients.

Asked whether more people required mental health interventions during the pandemic, Grech observed that “unfortunately, the pandemic has caused a lot of mental health problems globally as research is showing. Even after the pandemic, the psychological effects will still be seen.”

The most vulnerable were children, women and frontliners, he remarked.

“What we noticed in Malta is that there was an increase in the number of people who suffered from depression and anxiety,” he said.

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