Foundation The Quill

The Quill St. Eustatius

Overhandigen donatiegelden aan Mental Health Foundation en Turning Point

Op donderdag 25 januari was het dan zover. De donatiegelden van de online fundraisingactie werden overhandigd aan de directeur van Mental Health Foundation, Eileen Healy en aan directeur van Turning Point Foundation & Rehabilitation op St. Maarten Judith Arndell and Lloyd Richardson. Voorzitter van stichting de Quill, Kenneth Cuvalay. 

Berichtgeving in de media:

Artikel op LinkedIn-pagina van de heer Cuvalay:

Read more

Cuvalay calls for rebuilding of mental healthcare in St. Maarten

Arikel in The Daily Herald van St. Maarten gepubliceerd 2 januari 2018:

Cuvalay calls for rebuilding of mental healthcare in St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG--Director of The Quill Foundation Kenneth Cuvalay has issued an urgent appeal for the rebuilding of the mental healthcare facilities in St. Maarten.

The Quill Foundation is based in the Netherlands. Cuvalay said the facilities are needed to help people in St. Maarten with psychological problems and health issues in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Cuvalay said a crowdfunding website has been established “to offer immediate support to persons who suffer from psychological and health conditions and to those workers who provide for their care.

“The physical damage caused by Irma was devastating and immediate, but the emotional harm was just as immediate and its effects will be felt for a long time to come. Trauma, separation from loved ones and depression are lingering conditions that need urgent attention. But Irma delivered a big blow to the mental healthcare infrastructure on St. Maarten. We now need to rebuild, find financial support and resources to help the people and the care workers who care for them.”

He said almost four months after Irma the people of St. Maarten are trying to pick up their lives again. However, reconstruction will take a long time. Many people have lost their jobs and their future is uncertain. Many families are still without their own home and it is particularly within the poorer part of the population that concern and despair are mostly felt.”

The year 2018 promises to be a busy one for Cuvalay and his Foundation. The Foundation promotes awareness and care of people with mental health issues on the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. “In addition to the devastating effects of Irma on St. Maarten, mental issues loom wide on our islands. And with focus and dedication from all those involved, we shall start to make a difference for the many who suffer from drug addiction, domestic violence, depression, suicidal tendencies and a host of other related mental health conditions.”

Founded in 2007, The Quill works closely with mental healthcare institutions and various stakeholders in St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten and with associated bodies in the Netherlands.

Last July, Cuvalay organised the first ever mental health symposium in Statia to launch awareness and gather support for a population study on mental health in the Dutch Caribbean. After nearly eight years engaged in the development of psychiatric and addiction care he paused his working career to realise that aim through The Quill.

He said funding for mental healthcare has to be founded on facts and not fiction. “Our population study for which we are working hard to find the necessary funding will provide significant data on the scope and scale of mental health issues on all three islands within the Dutch Caribbean. Nothing comes from nothing and we aim to map and measure the extent of care that is required for treatment and most importantly prevention.”

Working alongside The Quill, research experts from the Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction), will process questionnaires and set up focus groups for children ages 12-18 years. “Trimbos is a non-profit research and knowledge centre with a reputation for scientific excellence. Our survey will not be intrusive and carried out by community professionals and local councillors every step of the way. The approach has been tried and tested through the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study NEMISIS.”

Such a research project will involve considerable cost. Cuvalay’s Foundation is working hard to organise a Windward mental health symposium at the Schiphol Sheraton Hotel on July 5. The goal is to secure awareness, funding and sponsorship. “Following on from our successful symposium on St. Eustatius last July, we decided to hold annual events. This year it will be in Amsterdam. The Sheraton Hotel is sponsoring the event with free conference facilities and we are looking towards pharmaceutical makers and distributors for additional support,” he said.

“We expect a fair amount of Dutch media attention. Mental health has become a pressing issue in a world wired up for change and people whose minds find it difficult to change. Prevention is key and we aim to make that happen everywhere in the Caribbean Netherlands.”
Donations for the Foundation’s appeal can be made through its website at: .

Read more

Berichten van Caribisch Netwerk

Caribisch Netwerk bericht regelmatig over de situatie bij Mental Health Foundation en Turning Point. 

Read more

Fundraising initiative for mental care organisations

Artikel in The Daily Herald van St. Maarten (10 oktober 2017) 

Fundraising initiative for mental care organisations

TILBURG--With the facilities of the two St. Maarten organisations for mental care in St. Maarten, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) and Turning Point Foundation for Rehabilitation, in ruins, Foundation The Quill has started a fundraising initiative to assist. Mental clients, a highly vulnerable group in society, are in urgent need.

Moved by the images of destruction and the suffering of the clients, Foundation The Quill Chairman Kenneth Cuvalay, who has worked in mental health care in St. Eustatius and Saba since 2010, decided that Turning Point and MHF needed all the support they could get, also because the two organisations are not getting any form of reconstruction aid from the St. Maarten or Dutch Government.

The building MHF for psychiatric care is damaged, as well as the vehicles used for crisis care and transport of clients. The building of Turning Point for addiction care and rehabilitation is completely destroyed with the roof gone and severe water damage to the interior. Clients have been taken to another building.

Cuvalay described the urgent situation faced by the Directors of the two foundations, Dr. Judith Arndell of Turning Point and Dr. Sachin Gandotra of MHF, both of whom he has closely worked with in the past seven years. “Things are tough for them, but more so for their clients for client care has become very limited. Clients of the two institutions are vulnerable. Many have become homeless after the hurricane and are roaming the streets with insufficient access to food, water and care.”

The MHF and Turning Point don’t have the means and manpower to locate their clients, to provide care and ensure that the clients take their medication. “Clients,already vulnerable, are suffering,” said Cuvalay, motivating why he has initiated a campaign to help the mental health care sector rebuild.

“Services to clients has been completely stopped or, at its very best, severely hampered by the destruction of the buildings and transport facilities. Much of the staff time is even going on fundraising for food for clients who lost their homes. The regular subsidisation of these institutions is usually very limited and there is no budget for repairs or for extra care and trauma programmes,” said Cuvalay.

“The aim of our campaign is to help the mental health care sector on St. Maarten recover and rebuild after the wake of destruction left by Hurricane Irma. The two organisations are not government owned and are not getting direct help from the Netherlands like Saba and St. Eustatius,” he stated. The organisations also fall outside the assistance of the Red Cross.

The MHF and Turning Point need help to recover, rebuild and support the people, said Cuvalay who wants to get the two institutions “up and running” as soon as possible. The organisations also provide services to clients in Saba and St. Eustatius. Clients from these islands are regularly sent to St. Maarten for acute care and long-term clinical treatment.

Cuvalay’s campaign aims to collect funds through donations. Funds are needed to purchase building materials and tools to reconstruct the damaged buildings, the purchase of medication, as well as the establishing of a trauma counselling programme, and assistance to uninsured, needy residents and those requiring treatment.
Information can be found on:

Read more

Help de GGZ St. Maarten er weer bovenop

Artikel op LinkedIn: 

Met ontzetting bekeek ik op 6 september de beelden van St. Maarten na orkaan Irma op Internet en tv. Ik was in Nederland. Ze zijn wel wat gewend op de Bovenwinden, maar de verwoesting die ik nu zag was onbeschrijfelijk. Na bijna een week gespannen het Internet afstruinen en proberen te bellen, mailen of Whatsappen naar familieleden, vrienden en collega’s, had iedereen zich weer gemeld. In een schrijnende situatie, maar gelukkig gezond en wel en allemaal nog met een dak boven hun hoofd.

Anders was dat voor mijn oud-collega’s van Mental Health Foundation (psychiatrische zorg) en Turning Point (verslavingszorg en rehabilitatie). Mental Health Foundation heeft schade aan het gebouw, maar vooral aan de vervoersmiddelen waarmee zij crisishulp verlenen en cliënten vervoeren naar het ziekenhuis of dagopvang. Zij hebben inmiddels een noodoproep om steun de wereld ingestuurd. Het gebouw van Turning Point is compleet verwoest. Zie de foto hierboven. Het dak is weg, er is forse waterschade aan kantoren en meubilair en er is nog steeds geen elektriciteit. Cliënten zijn overgebracht naar een ander gebouw.

Ik spreek de directeuren van beide instellingen, dr. Judith Arndell, klinisch psycholoog van Turning Point en dr. Sachin Gandotra, psychiater van Mental Health Foundation om de paar dagen. Voor hen is de situatie moeilijk, maar vooral voor hun cliënten. De cliëntenzorg kan nog maar beperkt worden uitgevoerd. Cliënten van beide instellingen zijn kwetsbaar, vaak zijn ze dakloos door de orkaan en zwerven op straat, zonder goede toegang tot voedsel en water. De instellingen hebben nu niet de middelen en mankracht om ze op te sporen en bijvoorbeeld te zorgen dat ze hun medicatie krijgen.

Mental Health Foundation en Turning Point verlenen ook diensten aan cliënten van nabij gelegen Saba en St. Eustatius die regelmatig worden ingevlogen voor crisishulp en langdurige klinische behandeling. Deze cliënten zijn dus ook gedupeerd.

Met mijn stichting The Quill ben ik een hulpactie gestart om de twee instellingen te helpen zo snel mogelijk weer volledig ‘up and running’ te zijn.

De bevolking in het Caribisch gebied is sterk en veerkrachtig, maar ze hebben nu dringend middelen nodig voor de wederopbouw. Die hoop ik ze met mijn stichting te kunnen geven zodat cliënten weer snel de aandacht krijgen die ze zo hard nodig hebben.

Graag doe ik daarom een beroep op jullie. Elke donatie hoe klein ook is welkom. Bezoek de actiesite met foto’s en de brandbrief van Mental Health Foundation via

Read more

Hulp aan wederopbouw psychische gezondheidszorg St. Maarten

Drie weken na de verwoestende orkaan Irma proberen de inwoners van St. Maarten hun leven weer op te pakken. Noodhulp is grootschalig op gang gekomen en in de eerste levensbehoeften wordt weer enigszins voorzien. De wederopbouw zal echter nog lange tijd in beslag nemen. Veel mensen zijn hun werk kwijt doordat het toerisme volledig is lamgelegd, veel gezinnen zijn nog dakloos, scholen zijn nog niet open. Vooral bij het armere deel van de bevolking overheersen wanhoop en zorgen en ontbreekt vaak elk perspectief. Lees verder op onze actiepagina.

Read more