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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 60 (2018) 7, 462 - 470


Mental health in Bonaire – an inspiration for the Dutch New Mental Health Movement

J.A. Ruimveld, M. Bosma, R. Hermanides, J. van Os, H. Becker, M. Mauricio, E. Jansen, P. Delespaul

background In 2010 the bes-islands in the Caribbean became a special municipality of the Netherlands. Healthcare was upgraded to match Dutch standards over a short period of time. With a population of 15,518 inhabitants in 2010 (19,408 in 2016), Bonaire received its own fact-team (flexible assertive community treatment). It subsequently became a unique experiment for the Dutch New Mental Health Movement.
aim To describe the development of a modern mental health care system in a limited geographic area.
method Site visitation, interviews and analysis of historical data sources.
results The local mental health team takes integral responsibility for all the mh care needs in Bonaire. There is no intricate diagnostic referral system. Consultation access lines are short. The team was able to dramatically reduce the need for hospitalization. Collaboration with the somatic hospital and general practitioners runs smoothly and the facilities offer complementary care. Societal integration is insured due to mental health professionals living interspersed in the neighborhood, the low threshold allowing them to respond to signals efficiently. There is a natural development of the following three domains of care: reduction of symptoms, societal participation and personal remission.
conclusion Integrated mental health services in a geographically small area, as presented by the Dutch New Mental Health Movement, enables the possibility of recovery oriented care.

keywords integrated care, mental health services, recovery oriented care, small catchment areas, the Dutch New Mental Health Movement