Following recent releases of petitions and articles regarding the state of Mount Carmel Hospital, we as Betapsi believe that it is our duty to comment on the following news. As a student psychology association, we fully condemn the neglectful and uninhabitable environment experienced by Mount Carmel patients.
It has been known for a while now that the state of Mount Carmel resembles a Victorian-era asylum more than a modern mental hospital. The problems of structural decay, staff shortage and staff disorganization have been brewing for decades. The Maltese government has been alerted time and time again about the desperate situation, but attempts to improve the hospital’s environment have turned out to be more talk than action.
As an association that cares for the well-being of others, we believe that Mount Carmel Hospital needs urgent and extensive refurbishment and modernization to create an environment in which the clients/residents can be well cared for, as we know that a pleasant environment promotes a positive well-being. We also feel that having Mount Carmel in such a sad state further reinforces the flawed and dangerous notion that people with mental health issues are outcasts.Alternatively, we urge for the construction of an altogether new hospital as suggested by the association of psychiatrists.
This would allow for modern and adequate technology to be implemented within the structure from the start.When it comes to physical health, problems are tackled differently. It is disappointing and sad to know that in Malta, mental health is not deemed as important as physical health.
The consequences are that institutions catering to mental health are slower to grow, slower to change and slower to receive funding, resulting in possible hindered treatment and care for those who need it.
This mentality needs to stop.
We fully understand that a lot of resources have been diverted to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as Maltese citizens experiencing the same situation, we feel that the issue of mental health needs to be prioritized too. We urge the Maltese government to show us they understand that mental health is just as important as physical health and take action.