Posted by: Ms Morris | October 6, 2009

Mind the gap…

On the Underground (London subway service) when a train stops at a station there is a safety announcement of “mind the gap”. The gap being the space between the train and the platform, a dangerous space is you fall between. Reading yesterdays RG however my attention is drawn to gaps in service between the Ministry of Health and the Department of Corrections.

For the most part I think Bermuda’s Health care system is pretty good. (Its not perfect but better than what I’ve seen of London thus far). True, we don’t have all services but we do have established links with hospitals that do provide for our gaps in service. On the side of physical health anyway. When it comes to mental health I feel less confident.

The death of Lorenzo Robinson highlighted this for me. While the mentally ill population is a small segment of the larger population their needs should not be overlooked or unprovided. Because in many cases the mentally ill cannot speak for their selves or may act in a manner contrary to their own well being, the overseers of their needs should have everything they need in order to give the best possible service; and if the don’t have it on island they should be able to accommodate persons off island. Anything less is negligent. It is this same negligence that formed the backdrop of the sad and premature and unfortunate demise of Mr Robinson.

Although mentally ill Mr Robinson was aware that his particular needs were not being met and could not be met within the confines of Westgate prison. He petitioned the government to have him moved to a facility overseas where his needs could be properly met. It is beyond me that while a judgement could be ruled in his favour agreeing that he should be moved overseas, the government did not act and no one to this day can give an explanation as to why.

Currently in Bermuda there is no facility or unit designated for persons who need to be kept in protective custody for their own and others safety on a long term to permanent basis due to mental illness. Assignment of cells as “hospitals” when it is clear they are not and not providing the necessary hospital staff is an example of cutting corners and when it comes to persons health who can say they feel comfortable with that?

A ball has been dropped, a person has died, they have fallen into the gap. The very least the Ministry of Health and the Department of Corrections can do is work to ensure that something so tragic can never occur again.


  1. This whole mess is why afrocencitity needs to be regulated. This boy read some book on Ra and went mad. Ther are many self read black panthers out there lost in a world of information junk. Look at Tamerry.
    The red party believes in sending criminals who attack tourists to be tried in the statehood of the victim.

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