The Bellevue Hospital was established as a separate institution for the care and treatment of persons
with mental illnesses in 1861. Prior to this, the hospital was connected to the Kingston Public
Hospital and was known as the Jamaica Lunatic Asylum.
Eight years later newer concepts of therapy, chiefly occupation and amusement were introduced
and this saw the abolition of unnecessary seclusion and the complete removal of mechanical
The community also became more appreciative of the hospital facilities and consequently more
patients were being admitted, consequently, new wards were built to accommodate the population.
By 1938 the role of the hospital became more recognised when its name was changed from Jamaica
Lunatic Asylum to Jamaica Mental Hospital. The resident population had reached 2,350
patients in 1945.
Steady progress continued two years later with the introduction of Electro Convulsive therapy
and Insulin Coma Therapy. Provisions were made for more organising training for medical and
nursing staff. Tranquilizers were introduced shortly after and this proved very effective in
the control of patients.
In the mid 1950’s the need for planned Occupational Therapy was recognised and so two members
of the staff were set up in Occupational Therapy Centre. Other intramural provided at this
were limited to a number of specialised Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist Social Workers and Nurses.
The day hospital was built in 1960 to provide care for outpatients. This was accompanied by
out-patient follow up care.
Although there was an increase rate of discharges, admission rates were still relatively high
due to lack of adequate care for psychiatric patients outside of Bellevue. There was also the
problem of long stay patients who only needed custodial care. At this time the Government became
aware of the need to review the existing Mental Health Law and requested help from the World
Health Organization (W.H.O) with the view of appraising the existing services and families and
preparing a long range programme. A W.H.O specialist assigned to prepare a National Mental
Health Programme in March 1965 and after a survey made certain recommendations.
On July 12,1965 an agreement was signed by the Ministry of Health and the Assistant Director of
World Health Organization in which the recommendations made by Dr. Richman was accepted.
In 1966 Kingston Public Hospital students started at Bellevue.
A demonstration unit was established in order to enhance the attitude towards Psychiatry as well
as towards Bellevue. This unit specifically focused new admission. Integration of male and
female patients began at Bellevue on the 27th November 1967. The demonstration unit became
functional in January 1978.
Bellevue Hospital has the legal responsibility to accept all persons needing psychiatric care
and is committed to provide medical, nursing and rehabilitative services in a clean and safe
environment, aimed at returning individuals to functioning levels in their community.
The following services are provided by the hospital:
Donations of Medical Equipment and Supplies as well as Computer Equipment are always
welcome. If you wish to make a donation, you may do so by contacting the Chief
Executive Officer at the institution of interest. Contact information is listed
Ph: (876) 926-5721-2
Fax: (876) 929-3076
16 1/2 Windward Road
Jamaica, West Indies
Ph: (876) 928-1380-7
Fax: (876) 928-1236
Days Open: 24-hour service daily (Patient Services)
Office Hours: (Administrative Services)
Mon. - Thur.:8:30a - 5:00p
Fri.: 8:30a - 4:00p
Please enter your username and password below to gain access to staff related resources!
Report emergencies such as an outbreak or during a
period of natural disaster.
Get the latest information about staff training
opportunities within the South East Regional Health Authority!
Search our job bank or access information on procedures
& policies governing employees of SERHA.