Farewell Dr Freddie Hickling, psychiatrist to the people

Editorial

Farewell Dr Freddie Hickling, psychiatrist to the people

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


THE COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically raised the level of mental stress — high even in normal times — because of the trauma of death, illness, confinement in lockdown, and economic deprivation.

Just when we needed him the most, renowned professor of psychiatry Frederick Hickling has died. The nation has lost a commanding presence and the sage healing advice of the popular psychiatrist.

In a career spanning 50 years, Professor Hickling helped to establish a community psychiatric service and pioneered cultural therapy in Jamaica. He is likely to be best remembered for the fresh approaches he introduced while serving as consultant psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital from 1973-1983.

Undaunted by controversy, Dr Hickling taught the Bellevue staff not to fear the inmates and was a strong believer in the mentally ill remaining at home with family while undergoing therapy. He urged Jamaicans to “own our madness…if we are to develop as an independent and free people”, a thought he expounded on in the best known of his six books, Owning Our Madness.

Facing reality in post-colonial Jamaica (2016). Educated at Wolmer's Boys' School, Dr Hickling studied medicine at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona and received postgraduate training in psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh.

He served as head of psychiatry at UWI, Mona from 2000 to 2006 before being appointed professor, and did a stint as executive director of the UWI's Caribbean Institute of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

His influence was felt beyond the region, for example, in the development of policy on African Caribbean mental health in the United Kingdom.

His research on schizophrenia, personality disorder, community psychiatry, psychotherapy, political psychology and cultural therapy has been published in more than 100 articles in scholarly journals and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals and books.

He was elected a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2008; a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK in 2011; and presented with the Black Psychiatrists of America Andrea Delgado Award for Excellence in November 2010.

In August 2012 he was awarded the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by the Government of Jamaica


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT