Suicidal patients shun Mount Carmel Hospital due to notorious reputation, NGO says

Xtra on TVM | Recalling chilling anecdotes, Victim Support Malta NGO chairperson says patients who have attempted suicide several times don't seek treatment at Mount Carmel Hospital because of its unfavourable reputation

Mount Carmel Hospital (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)
Mount Carmel Hospital (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)

Mount Carmel Hospital's devastating state is discouraging mental health patients from seeking help there, NGO Victim Support Malta said.

Recalling chilling anecdotes, chairperson Julienne Grima, said the NGO helps patients who have attempted suicide multiple times. These patients, she said on TVM's Xtra last Monday, are in dire need of containment but are left with limited options.

“Unfortunately, Mount Carmel Hospital, being the only mental health facility available, has gained notoriety for its unfavourable reputation, and people don't want to go there," she explained.

Grima, and Victim Support Malta Director Karl Grech shed light on the alarming condition of Mount Carmel Hospital. 

An NAO report last year found that Mount Carmel Hospital's environment still had to improve, needed an adequate CCTV system and better-managed wards, despite the progress made.

The NAO performance audit put forward several recommendations intended to address the issues related to the hospital and by implication, the mental health services as a whole.

Grech reflected these sentiments in the TV programme and emphasised the urgent need for substantial changes within the hospital environment.

"Shameful environment... a huge change is needed," Grech expressed candidly. 

While he acknowledged plans for improvement exist, the lack of concrete progress raises concerns about the future of the hospital.

Grech also highlighted the negative impact of Mount Carmel Hospital's condition on patients, particularly those already struggling with mental health challenges. 

"The place does not welcome you," Grech lamented, indicating that the current state of the hospital can be detrimental to the recovery and well-being of patients. 

Several people, according to Grech, prefer seeking help from the private sector, rather than relying on the government-run facility. 

This shift can be concerning, according to the experts, especially considering the rising costs of private care and the potential lack of accessibility for all individuals in need.