November 10, 2023 –PHILIPSBURG– On Monday, November 6th, the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley, welcomed the Sint Maarten World Bank delegation, led by Country Manager Ms. Toyin Jagha, along with representatives from the National Recovery Planning Bureau (NRPB) to commemorate the successful achievement of the “Improving Mental Health Services” project “effective” status.
The term “Effective” status, as per World Bank terminology, signifies the formal inclusion of project financing into the project portfolio, indicating progress toward its implementation. The subsequent phase will involve the completion of procurement procedures for services aimed at enhancing the mental health system in Sint Maarten and the development of a new facility.
The World Bank thanked the honorable Minister Omar, Ministry VSA, SZV, NRPB and the Mental Health Foundation for their cooperation on making the next step of this project possible.
Dealing with a standalone mental health project is a first for the global institute, and learning from the Sint Maarten situation is a great opportunity to form a blueprint for similar projects in other countries.
Minister Ottley expressed gratitude to the World Bank and NRPB for their role in enabling and guiding the project to its next phase. The Minister emphasized the significance of the project, noting that the interconnection between mental and physical health is often underestimated.
The Ministry views this project as a crucial step in improving healthcare in Sint Maarten as a whole. Minister Ottley expressed pride in leading the collaboration between the World Bank, NRPB, SZV, and the Mental Health Foundation to benefit the people of Sint Maarten. Additionally, the Minister declared personal support for mental health care both present and in the future.
“Minister, I must commend you, from the onset you said you would support us and you have led by action, and for this I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the staff and patients.” (Sandro Garcia MHF)