Mental Health is a state of emotional, physical, social, and spiritual well-being. Many factors such as stress, change and situations outside of our control can affect our mental health. As such, any person, at any age, can experience a mental health problem, that with the right support can be effectively managed. Mental illnesses, however, are diagnosable conditions that significantly affect someone’s ability to think, feel, relate with others and function in their daily life. These illnesses may be occasional or more long lasting such as anxiety disorder, clinical depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago offers a range of free services for the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses to all citizens.
How do I access mental health care?
If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or you feel you may have a mental health problem that requires treatment, you can access mental health care simply by visiting one of the mental health facilities in your community listed in the "Where can I access mental health care?" section below. Most community mental health facilities provide a “walk-in” service while others may require a referral letter from your GP or primary care doctor. Feel free to contact the facility beforehand using the directory below.
If a person may be at risk of harming themselves (e.g. suicide attempt) or harming someone else (e.g. erratic, violent or bizarre behavior) they can be taken to the nearest emergency department at a General hospital where they will be assessed and treated. Where necessary, patients may be admitted for further assessment, care and management. In extreme cases where it is not possible to bring someone to the hospital, two psychiatric doctors (one must be employed in the public sector) must certify that the person has a mental illness and requires urgent treatment. An apprehension order will be issued and Mental Health Officers will apprehend the person for admission to a health facility. Please note that patients who are involuntarily admitted are managed at the facility until health care professionals determine that they can safely return to their homes.
What kind of treatment is available?
As an inpatient (someone admitted to a hospital ward for a period of time) or an outpatient (someone accessing treatment while living at home or in the community) treatment can include:
- Medical care (management of pre-existing medical conditions)
- Medication (where appropriate)
- Psychological Interventions (individual psychotherapy, group therapy etc.)
- Social Work Interventions (liaison to social services, family counselling, treatment compliance support etc.)
- Rehabilitative Interventions (occupational therapy, creative arts therapy, memory clinic services, speech and language therapy etc.)
Where can I access mental health care?
Inpatient treatment for extended periods of time is available only at the St. Ann's Hospital. St. Ann's Psychiatric Hospital St. Ann's Road St. Ann's Trinidad Tel. (868) 624-1151 Opening hours: 24 hours For a list of other mental health facility locations, please see the section below.
Where can I find more information?
For more information, please contact the Mental Health Unit at the Ministry of Health.
5th Floor Sacred Heart Building
16-18 Sackville Street,
Port of Spain
Phone: (868) 285-9126 ext. 2573,2606,2590, 2571,2492, 2436
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday except public holidays.