Dr Colleen Bovell: Advocate for better mental health response

Dr Colleen Bovell

A simple thank you from the mother of a patient who took her own life was enough to drive young Dr Colleen Bovell to branch off into clinical psychiatry; the gratitude from that mother was because Bovell had treated her daughter humanely, when everyone else had written her off.

“… She had taken gramoxone. She came into the medical ward, she spent a few days, but she went home and she died. I did not know this… [until] … her mother came to me and said, ‘Doc, I came to thank you. My daughter died.’ … She said, ‘You were the only person who treated my daughter with dignity. You showed her so much care, so much love, no other doctor or nurse did that.’ And she said because of that she can stand strong because she was at the point of taking her own life,” Dr Bovell told the Sunday Stabroek in a recent interview.

Mental health had always held her interest, especially when she was in medical school and had to rotate in the various areas, but it was this incident that made her move into the area…..

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