New foundation for mentally ill and addicts nearly complete

POSTED: 09/12/11 12:08 PM

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – A foundation is coming together that will consist of work on behalf of people with mental illnesses and their families is coming together under the leadership of Dr. Neville de Weever-Labega. The name of the new organization, which also targets people with addictions, will be Windward Islands Patient Foundation so that it can include people from Saba and St. Eustatius. There will be no membership fees.

“I would like to urge all persons with a mental health and/or addiction problem and their family to become members of the foundation. It is our foundation and we will decide together what activities we will undertake, how, where and when. It will be a very democratic and open foundation where everyone will have their say,” de Weever-Labega said.

The five aims of the foundation include the formation of a platform for patients and their families to meet on a regular basis to share experiences, discuss their problems and help each other, demanding an insurance card for medical care and social benefits and providing information to combat stigma around mental illness and addiction. The aims also include networking with employer’s organizations and individual employers to help find jobs for people who recover from their illness and/or addiction and providing updates on the latest developments so people can get the best possible treatment.

The draft statutes of the organization state that it will have a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer and two board members. De Weever wants it to include a representative of Saba and St. Eustatius. Negotiations have already begun with people in Saba for them to join the board, but talks have yet to begin with a Statian.

People who want to join de Weever-Labega in his effort can contact him on 542-9953 or 581-6620, by e-mailing him at nevilledeweever@gmail.com or by sending a letter to P.O. Box 479, Philipsburg, Saint Martin.

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