Prime Minister of Sint Maarten visits Trimbos Institute to strengthen mental health collaborations

The Trimbos Institute was honored to welcome the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Dr. Luc Mercelina, along with a ministerial delegation from the Ministry of Health of Sint Maarten, on Friday, July 9th. This visit aimed to exchange knowledge about the Trimbos Institute, share best practices and programs in mental health and addiction, and provide insights into the priorities for mental health and substance use in Sint Maarten.

Initiated by Sint Maarten, the delegation sought expertise on developing community mental health services, mental health prevention and promotion across different age groups, integrating mental health and substance use services, and mobilizing communities for better mental health outcomes. As the Expertisecentre Mental Health, the Trimbos Institute was delighted to provide comprehensive information on these topics. The Prime Minister provided detailed information on the context and challenges faced by Sint Maarten.

Everyone in Sint Maarten access to mental health support

The goal of the Prime Minister is to ensure that everyone in Sint Maarten has access to mental health support. Given the specific context, he advocates for a pragmatic and holistic approach to addressing mental health and substance use. His ultimate aim is to guarantee that all residents of Sint Maarten can access a comprehensive range of mental health services. From initiatives that enhance social support, resilience, and mental well-being to those aiding recovery from mental illness and addiction. The Trimbos Institute strongly supports this mission.

Presentations, discussions and good practices

During the visit, delegates were introduced to the Trimbos Institute’s work through brief presentations, followed by lively discussions and a Q&A session. Dr. Mercelina, a renowned surgeon with a keen interest in young people’s health and well-being, expressed particular interest in these topics. The delegation was also inspired by the Trimbos Institute’s international projects, such as the MENSANA project in Moldova, and appreciated the opportunity to tour the Enik Recovery College, a model of best practice in mental health recovery.

Mental Health connections accross Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean Islands

This successful visit has set the stage for enhanced mental health connections across the Caribbean Netherlands, particularly in public mental health prevention, promotion and care.

More information

For more information on the Dutch national plan for good mental health for all, click here:

To learn more about our role as the Expertisecentre Mental Health (Expertisecentrum Mentale Gezondheid), click here (in Dutch):

More on Trimbos Institute: For mental health (English) – Trimbos-instituut

Laura Shields - Zeeman
Programmahoofd Mentale Gezondheid en Preventie, Trimbos