The International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation


Psych. Rehab. & Community Care in Belize

Responsible lnstitutions
Ministry of Health and Sports, Belize

Project Time-frame
March 1997 to March 2000

Main Goals
To improve mental health and well being through strengthening community based mental health
services and networks.

Up until recently, most psychiatric care in Belize was provided through the Rockview
Psychiatric Hospital. The recent plan to decentralize psychiatric care and to close down the
Rockview Hospital highlights the need to strengthen community care and facilities to enable the
effective treatment of all mental health patients.

Project Description
During this three year project mental health training and supervision will be provided to
relevant personnel, in particular, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. Nurse practitioners will
provide village outreach psychiatric clinics in each district.

The profile of mental health in the community will be raised through media based activities,
talks in schools and the sensitization of the police, NG0s, clergy, magistrates and non-
traditional healers to issues of mental health and the referral system.

The National Mental Health referral and record keeping mechanisms will be strengthened by
updating national reporting forms, developing a referral mechanism and disseminating these to
all mental health outlets.

The quality of care provided by mental health services will be strengthened by incorporating a
mental health component into the health strategies and packages of the National Health Plan and
by making mental health guidelines available to all mental health facilities.

An acute psychiatric care facility will be introduced in the Kari Huesner Memorial Hospital as
well as services in district hospitals.

Performance Indicators
Performance indicators for the overall project would include a decrease in the number of
psychiatric admissions to Rockview Hospital and a decrease in the rate of relapses of acute
psychiatric patients.

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