Policy and vision

Mental Health Caribbean (MHC) was founded on June 1st, 2012 after reshaping and expanding the former Foundation for Addiction Care Bonaire (Stichting Verslavingszorg Bonaire).

As a result of recommendations formulated in 2011 by the Dutch Ministry of Health (VWS) Novadic- Kentron was requested to develop and organize the addiction care and psychiatry on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This was coordinated in close cooperation with academic medical centers VU / AMC with regards to provision of psychiatrists based on agreements with the Dutch Caribbean Healthcare Insurance Office (Zorgverzekeringskantoor van Caribisch Nederland) on Bonaire.

The objective of MHC is to enhance the quality of addiction care and psychiatry on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba with an emphasis on close cooperation with the islands involved.

The main principles are:

  • Integrated treatment and approach of clients is economically more beneficial compared to providing fragmented care
  • Improving quality of life for clients and their families
  • Reducing nuisance on the streets of the islands involved

Approximately 60, mainly local, staff members provide the whole spectrum of mental health care on the Dutch Caribbean. Our main focus is to treat our clients ambulatory in their own home environment in close cooperation with their family and/ or support system. Especially for our adult clients we work by the principles and methodology of F-ACT (Flexible Assertive Community Treatment). The team on Bonaire has received the F-ACT certification from the Certification Centre for ACT and F-ACT (CCAF) in 2014 and in 2017. Our teams on the Windward Islands also attempt to work as much as possible by the F-ACT principles and methodology by joining forces with our fellow mental health care providers on St. Maarten.

With this principles and methodology MHC appears to be succesful in limiting the demand for inpatient/clinical care. This is highly significant as there are no inpatient facilities on the islands. When inpatient care is unavoidable clients are ‘flown-out’ to other countries, such as Curacao, Aruba, St. Maarten or even to the Netherlands. Besides being very expensive, it also completely removes the clients from their own living environment.

Novadic-Kentron (NK) was the proud founding father of MHC in 2012 – then under the name SVP-CN (Foundation for Addiction Care & Psychiatry Dutch-Caribbean). Now that MHC has developed into a successful and professional organization (with around 60 mostly local employees) independent management is a logical next step. As of March 1, 2018, the NK has been detached from MHC at staff union, board, and supervisory level. A separate Supervisory Board has been appointed for MHC. The role of chairman of the Supervisory Board has been filled by Mrs Jurenne Hooi, Messrs Theo de Kool and Don Olthof have joined as members. Mr. Erik Jansen has been appointed as director.