The Bermuda Mental Health Foundation (BMHF or the Foundation) was formed in 1994 as a company limited by guarantee.
The Foundation is a registered charity (Registration No. 394) which has the following objects:
- To promote the preservation of mental health in Bermuda and to assist in relieving and rehabilitating persons suffering from mental disorders or conditions of emotional or mental distress requiring advice or treatment in Bermuda; and
- To acquire such premises as may be necessary or convenient to give effect to the principal object of the Foundation.
In addition to these formal objects, the Foundation seeks to educate the public about mental illness.
Mental illness can be as mild as an anxiety attack or as severe and chronic as schizophrenia. When one suffers with mental illness, it affects the individual, their family, employment opportunities and the community at large.
In carrying out its mandate, the Foundation believes that it is important to change the conversation about mental illness to a discussion based on fact, understanding and empathy.
This quality of mental health awareness will also assist in combatting the stigma that continues to surround mental illness.
In furtherance of its objects, the Foundation works very closely with the MWI and assists MWI in achieving its stated goal of resettling low risk clients out of institutional accommodation and back into the general community. MWI’s treatment approach is based upon a Recovery Model of Care, which includes a set of values about a person’s right to build a meaningful life for themselves with or without the continuing presence of mental health symptoms. Recovery is based on ideas of self-determination and self-management. It emphasizes the importance of “hope” in sustaining motivation and supporting expectations of an individually fulfilled life.
The Foundation currently owns and operates three properties that provide supervised sheltered housing for twenty MWI clients. A fourth property was purchased in November 2021 and is currently being made ready to accommodate up to eight additional MWI clients.
In its public awareness activities, the Foundation joined with the Human Rights Commission to lobby successfully for amendments to the Human Rights Act 1981 that extended protections under the Act to persons suffering from mental illness. It has also presented informational sessions on mental health topics to students in Bermuda’s public and private schools.
Most recently, the Foundation launched the Mindful Employer Certificate (MEC) programme. The programme seeks to challenge, highlight and cultivate company cultures that put mental health as a workplace priority.
The voluntary certification programme seeks to assure that employers are in compliance with existing legislation while challenging them to develop, implement or enhance sound policies and practices around mental health in the workplace.
In October 2021, the Foundation hosted a virtual conference with the theme “Mental Health – It’s About All of Us”. The conference featured 29 speakers on various topics of mental health in 12 sessions.
Additional information may be found on the Foundation’s website: www.BMHF.bm.
We are very thankful to all of our current community partners and we are currently seeking more on island partners. We firmly believe that in order to achieve our set goals and objectives and to change that state of our mental health industry, it will take all of Bermuda’s help. If you are interested in becoming a community partner please contact us.
OUR PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVE
Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has provided residential care facilities that cater to those suffering from mental illness. Currently, initiatives such as Mental Health Court, Mental Health First Aid Course, Family Mental Health Support Group Public Awareness Campaign, Island-wide Mental Health resource online center and others have taken the forefront.
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