35 Mental Health professionals to undergo training

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DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 9, 2018

Thirty-five (35) Mental Health Practitioners will undergo training to become drug prevention specialists and drug treatment service providers. Following the start of a 19-day training programme today.

The Prevention and Treatment Evaluation Systems for the Training and Certification Programme (PROCCER) for the Caribbean seeks to improve the quality of treatment services for those with addiction problems. This round of training caters specifically to the Guyana situation.

Director of the Mental Health Unit, Dr. Util Richmond-Thomas.

The Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) and the University of the West Indies are working together to make this possible.

Jean Ricot Dormeus, Representative of the OAS Secretariat in Guyana, said that this training is the first step in finding a solution to address the high dependency of many drug addicts in Guyana.

“Soft approaches such as prevention and treatment feature in our quiver at the same time we keep studying and exploring options conducive to an effective control of the drug influence…”, Dormeus explained.

Country Representative of the OAS, Jean Ricot Dormeus.

Dormeus added that in 2016 Guyana completed the PROCCER training programme certifying a total of 32 Drug Prevention professionals with the necessary skill to help vulnerable youth “keep from the pull of narcotics”.

PROOCER Caribbean is the first regionally-based approach to training and certification. The skill set being offered through this programme will qualify the mental health practitioners to make a vital contribution to the improvement of Guyana. They will also be equipped with a treatment toolkit, prepared touch the lives of people in desperate need of assistance as they struggle with addictions.

Essentially, these participants will contribute to the reduction in drug addictions and the manner in which it manifests itself in abnormal mental behaviours. Director of the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Util Richmond-Thomas outlined the current situation in the country to the participants, reminding them of the need to apply themselves to the training being made available.

The Mental Health Director said, “all of you as practitioners may have realised that by now alcohol and substance abuse is tightly interwoven with all the mental health disorders and maladies that plague our society. As a matter of fact, the psychiatrist and the staff at the National Psychiatric Hospital and the Georgetown (Public) hospital will tell you that more than 70 percent of the admissions are dual diagnosis, alcohol and substance abuse.”

The trained specialists are expected to be agents of hope to persons with drug addictions, bringing change to lives of individuals and families throughout Guyana.

Some of the participants in the training.

Some of the participants in the training.


By: Delicia Haynes


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