“Your Country Needs You” – Minister Ally tells Psychology Graduates
Psychology graduates of the American University of Peace Studies were implored to use their skills to tackle mental health problems facing our Country.
On December 28, 2017 – Thirty (30) persons graduated with Diplomas and Degrees in General Psychology, of the thirty (30) students, twenty five (25) obtained distinctions.
Minister of Social Protection, Hon. Amna Ally in her remarks told the graduates they have gained relevant skills related to National Development and behavioral changes to create a more cohesive and peaceful society.
She urged them to build on what they have already accomplished.
“You should continue to nurture and develop your skills and talents to add to the human resource capacity of your country. I want all of you to know how important and valuable you are and your contribution can play a significant role in all development spheres within our society… ”. The Minister told the students Guyana’s development is synonymous with the development of its human capital. She said while most people focus on their individual dreams, Guyanese must come together as one family to ensure that another generation is able to fulfill their dreams as well.
The Government has been placing increased emphasis on mental Health and the need for psychologists and other mental health professionals is evident. “We need you, we need psychologists; utilize this opportunity and skill and put them to work and make Guyana a better place” – Minister Ally told the students.
A 2012 World Health Organization report indicated that Guyana had a suicide rate of 44.2 per 100,000 people.
In strengthening the mental health system the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Public Health, Mental Health Unit, is working to ensure that at least 50% of non-specialized health care providers are trained to address mental health issues. This is among other initiatives outlined in the National Mental Health Action Plan 2015-2020.
According to Ms. Doodmattie Singh – Coordinator of private schools, Ministry of Education – the demand for psychologists is greater now than ever and will continue to increase. She said in a similar way there are student teacher ratios, patient doctor and patient nurse ratios, the world is quickly moving to a time where need for client to psychologist ratio is necessary. She also congratulated the students for their achievement and hard work.
The American University of Peace Studies was established in Guyana by Dr. Eton Simon in 2002. The University offers over thirty five (35) courses from the certificate to the Masters level. Director of Administration – Ms. Collis Spenser Drakes, says the programs offered are aimed towards gearing students to combat challenges facing Guyana.
The Graduation was held at the Umana Yana, High Street, Georgetown.