Steunpunt Bonaire general social work and support center

At OccuMed CN, Occupational Health and Safety Service, for some time now we have been seeing an increase in psychosocial difficulties and problems that the working population of Bonaire has been dealing with as a direct result of the Corona crisis.

The spread of the Corona virus causes stress and uncertainty for many people, including the people on Bonaire. A lot of information about the virus is distributed via news channels, the internet and social media. For example, a few weeks ago we received a message from Aruba that a young man has put an end to his life. Shocking images were all over the internet and social media. In his farewell letter he writes: “I give up, I am lost, the depression has won. Instead of seeking help, I kept walking around with it. I hope my message reaches other people, I do this not to be known but to save and help others.”

Working together works

MHC (Mental Health Caribbean) also indicates that the influx of patients and clients needing their services is increasing. Which results in a work overflow and MHC cannot provide the amount of primary care needed to treat the clients in the required time.

At OLB (Public Entity Bonaire) 3 times as many people have registered for food packages and the financial problems are running high, there too it is noted that a large number of people living on Bonaire get stuck, see no way out and problems keep piling up. These events and problems that the companies are experiencing is a sign that our people are going through a hard time. This has touched us greatly and we have continued to fight to offer low-threshold support to the residents of Bonaire through a platform from which the residents can be well served.

OccuMed CN, MHC and OLB, CJG have joined forces and set up a portal for social care on Bonaire. Free care, support and assistance that can help citizens get back on track through Steunpunt Bonaire. 

When a person in need of help or support registers, he or she will be contacted and screened within 48 hours. An assessment is made on whether advice can be given immediately by telephone, or a physical appointment is 

needed within a few days to help the person in question. 

Every organization MHC, OLB and CJG has supplied an expert to Steunpunt Bonaire, which means that we can quickly proceed to give assistance without the person being sent from pillar to post because he or she did not approach the right organization. This prevents waiting times; the required support can be provided without delay by the right experts. If the person in question cannot be helped by Steunpunt Bonaire, he or she will be referred to the correct organization via our contact person, without losing too much time. It will also be immediately clear what nature of the problem is, therfore quick action can be taken to support or help the person.

Support center 

The Bonairean people traditionally solve their problems on their own and don’t like to make these problems public or tell different people about them. By having set up the support center in this way, we expect that the residents will reach us more easily and know that we can help them with advice, tips and tools and, if necessary, can quickly get them to the right support person.

Residents can contact the support center in 4 languages via the general practitioner, internet site, social media and other channels. After the screening, the cases are divided among the social workers.