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Monday 21 October 2019
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Mother of Arouca rehab patient: I’d send my son back there

Members of the TTPS secure the compound of the Transformed Life Ministries Centre, where they conducted a raid.

Photo by Angelo Marcelle.
Members of the TTPS secure the compound of the Transformed Life Ministries Centre, where they conducted a raid. Photo by Angelo Marcelle.

A mother is calling for help after her 26-year-old son was released from an Arouca rehabilitation centre on Wednesday after a police raid.

She says after visiting her son at the St Ann's Psychiatric Hospital yesterday, she feels depressed because conditions at the hospital may actually be worse than those at the Transformation Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre. Given the opportunity, she said, she would send her son back to the Arouca centre.

While she agreed there was a need to improve conditions and maintenance at the centre, she said patients were receiving humane treatment and were kept there at the request of their families. "People don't realise how necessary the cages are for the treatment of some people. So while it might look bad, it was very necessary. She said at St Ann's, she saw her son on the floor.

"I just feel really depressed right now to see him like that. If given the opportunity, I would send him back because at least he was getting proper treatment that seemed to be working." Other parents expressed similar sentiments, she said.

The woman said her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was sent to the centre in Arouca at her request. She also raised questions about where the released patients would be sent after being assessed at St Ann's.

"I spoke to a few of the doctors, who said they were just keeping him for observation, but I would like to know where they will be sent after that period. I know they can only keep them for about three weeks. but I don't know what happens after that. I don't have the facilities to care for him at home."

She also disputed Police Commissioner Gary Griffith's description of the situation at the Transformation Centre as one of human trafficking, saying while the facilities were less than ideal, all patients were kept there with the consent of their respective families. Police said while they originally understood 90 people had been released, in fact, only 69 patients were released.

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