The Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) of the Princess Margaret Hospital will be hosting its 12 annual concert this Sunday (January 13).
The event, which is scheduled for the APU grounds from 4:00 pm, promises to be entertaining with special performances from patients.
Medical Officer at the APU, Dr. Seannel David, says the activity has been organized as a means of ensuring that mental health patients participate in meaningful recreational activity.
“Over the years we have recognized the need for such an event because we recognize that the patients have a right to such experiences,” Dr. David noted, adding that the activity assists in breaking down the stigma associated with mentally ill patients.
“0ur holistic approach is placed on the emphasis of promoting self esteem, the psycho social support for that patient, breaking the stigma associated with mentally ill patients and the unit. It will help patients to achieve a positive approach towards health and these are some of the areas that we would like to demonstrate by staging such a concert,” Dr. David said.
Occupational Therapist at the APU, Shasta Green, believes this concert will assist patients in developing their self esteem.
“When most people hear about occupational therapy they usually think about a job but it has nothing to do with a job, its activities that you do from birth to death. So when you get ready for work this is an occupational activity. For the patients this concert allows them to improve their quality of life and self esteem, through activities such as song, dance and rap,” she said.
Green strongly believes that such activities can help mentally ill patients realize that they have value and worth.
“Being treated at the unit involves more than just medication and counseling. In order for them to remain stable they need these activities to help them,” Green pointed out.
Meanwhile social worker at the APU and concert coordinator, Lesley-Ann Waldron, said the event is also being held to raise much needed funds for the Unit.
“It’s one of our major fund raising events. In as much as we would like to have it free we have a small fee where people will be required to pay $5.00 for children and $10.00 for adults. The proceeds from this event go back to the patients for our activities which we do throughout the year,” she said.
According to Waldron, while the concert is a fundraiser for the unit, it also serves as a form of entertainment for the APU patients.
A number of calypsonians will be featured at Sunday’s concert including Daddy Chess, Sye, Observer, and Tasha P.
Cultural performances from various cultural groups and individuals will also feature at Sunday’s concert