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Mount Carmel Opens Ward For Female Patients Suffering Mental Health Problems Associated With Drug Abuse

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A new ward tending to female patients who suffer from drug abuse will open tomorrow at Mount Carmel Hospital.

The Maria Scibberas Ward, named after a late Maltese doctor, was inaugurated earlier today by Health Minister Chris Fearne and features apparatus specifically fit for the designed purpose of the ward.

The ward will feature 10 beds for female patients and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment including installed access control and CCTV, along with an anti-barricade system so patients aren’t able to lock themselves in.

Furthermore, the ward is also equipped with anti-ligature furniture designed to prevent patients from using everyday objects to hurt themselves. 

Speaking at the press conference, architect Sharon Mallia said this was the first ward in the hospital “that is in line with the specific standards for mental health services.”

In addition to the new female dual diagnosis unit, a number of other works are being carried out at Mount Carmel as part of a four-year mental health strategy. 

Work is also being conducted on Block 10 of Mount Carmel, which will be turned into a therapeutic space along with recreation and relaxation zones, occupational therapy, an outdoor walking area and wifi and CCTV. The project is expected to be completed by June 2020.

Moreover, works are also being carried out on a Young Persons Unit which consists of a recreation zone, multipurpose pitch, bbq areas and benches as well as educational and agricultural zones. The block will also contain a shelter for animals used for therapy. This project will be completed in the third quarter of next year.

Clifford Farrugia from the Foundation For Medical Services also detailed plans to transform Block One into a state-of-the-art building providing mental health services as well as the building of a new psychiatric hospital to be completed in four years. 

On his part, Minister Fearne acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in mental health cases in Malta.

“This is a small part of our plan to cure mental health in our country. It’s an important step but one of many that we’re going to take over the months and years to come,” he said.

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