Psychiatric Services

Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
Community Mental Health Services
Changing Minds
Deinstitutionalization, Institutional Rehabilitation & Development of Community Psychiatric Services


Psychiatric Assessment

Professor Hickling offers comprehensive psychiatric evaluations which include a psychiatric interview with the patient and with the patient’s family member(s) or caregiver(s), in order to compile a complete social and biographical history as it pertains to the patient. The history-taking is coupled with clinical observations of the patient and family members/caregivers, and a collaborative psychological assessment provided by a psychologist. Together this information is used to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

Treatment plans are formulated based on the diagnosis that is made through psychiatric assessment. Psychiatric interventions may be done individually or in groups depending on the requirements. Interventions may include:

  • Psychopharmacology (psychiatric medication)
  • Psychotherapy (Individual or Group)
    • Individual Therapy
    • Couples Therapy
    • Family Therapy
  • "Insight Revolution"
    • Individual Psychohistoriographic Brief Psychotherapy
    • Group Psychohistoriographic Brief Psychotherapy
    • This therapeutic modality entails the psychohistoriographic exploration of an individual or group’s life experiences that are pertinent in understanding the presenting problems. These experiences are mapped and used to create individual behaviour modification programmes or group Cultural Therapy programmes.
  • Cultural Therapy
  • Rehabilitation

Community Mental Health Services

In certain cases treatment of an individual or group might require in-home or domiciliary intervention rather than treatment in private clinical practice or a psychiatric in-patient unit at the hospital. The Community Mental Health Service consists of a stand-by psychiatric/mental health team that provides emergency response to persons within their community. A fully equipped mental health response team with a Mental Health Officer, Psychiatric Aide and an on-call Psychiatrist will provide round the clock responses for patients. Follow-up care for patients is also provided within the home/community particularly for those who are unable to ambulate or those who prefer the discretion of in-home rather than office visits.

Changing Minds

This is an organizational group training technique that was formulated and has been utilized by Professor Hickling for the past 30 years in academic and socio-cultural environments locally, regionally, and internationally. The aim of "Changing Minds" is to help organizations to develop a more cohesive team that works efficiently in the achievement of organizational goals. This is based on the understanding that for many businesses there may be a gap between the organizational vision and employee commitment to achieving this vision.

During the "Changing Minds" group activity, individuals are facilitated in the exploration and resolution of counter-productive behavioural practices through the development of insight. The development of group and individual insight is achieved through in-depth guided discussions that aim to unearth and link significant past events to current problems. Participants are encouraged to speak about their experiences and express their opinions while the group provides a forum for analytical dialogue to unmask and refute false assumptions that lead to counter-productive thinking and behaviours. The aim of the discussions is to create insight about the way in which individual and/or corporate experiences have resulted in and perpetuated current problems.

Deinstitutionalization, Institutional Rehabilitation & Development of Community Psychiatric Services

During his tenure at the Bellevue Hospital (the sole residential psychiatric facility in Jamaica), Professor Hickling instigated and facilitated the deinstitutionalization process through the training of psychiatrists and community psychiatric nurses as mental health officers, and the development of a Community Mental Health Service in the national primary and secondary care catchment facilities island wide. The intensive rehabilitative and deinstitutionalization programmes that were carried out at the hospital carefully reunited custodial patients with their families in the community. This was coupled with novel radio psychiatry programmes and cultural therapy programmes within the hospital and across the island, which provided the requisite psychological deinstitutionalization preparation of the public for the integration process and the reduction of stigma towards the mentally ill.

Geared to government-level health services, Professor Hickling provides consultation services to institutions for the formulation of a deinstitutionalization strategy that will assist in the transition from institutionalization to the development of community psychiatric services.