—to help boost mental health providers
The University of Guyana, (UG) on Monday evening added a new programme to its plate. The institution together with various organizations such as the Caribbean Alliance Network of Psychological Association (CANPA) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) launched the Psychology programme which will fall under the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The programme will allow students to pursue a certificate, Diploma and Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Psychology.
The launching was hosted at the Education Lecture Theatre (ELT) at university’s Turkeyen campus. In attendance were heads of department of UG and various organizations. Minister within the Ministry of Public Heath, Dr. Karen Cummings, was also there.
The event was chaired by the Registrar of the University, Dr. Nigel Gravesande. He mentioned that there are currently 104 psychology students in the Caribbean and that this programme would help to increase that number.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, took the time to welcome the small audience. He described the event as a “Michelangelo moment”.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Scott, expressed how thankful and excited he was for the move. He noted that it was a big step forward for the Institution.
There were also remarks by the UNICEF representative Sylvie Fouet who expressed that the launch will benefit the entire Medical Association and also youths aspiring to pursue a career in medicine.
Professor Omowale Marshall, President of CANPA, also took the time to relate how much of a big step forward it was to finally launch the programme. Professor Marshall said that his team has been working to accomplish the goal for 30 years.
The programme was officially launched by Minister Cummings. According to Dr. Cummings, The University, embarking on the Psychology programme will surely be an asset in the drive to assess mental health issue in Guyana.
The main goal of the psychology programme is to aid in the reduction of the high suicide rate in Guyana, edify the nation on mental health issues in an effort to increase awareness, prevention and support for individuals experiencing mental illnesses. The programme is also expected to aid in an increase in the number of mental health providers.
After completion of the programme, students are expected to receive the appropriate training and support for mental health and exhibit some level of professionalism when dealing with the issue.
The programme is set to commence in January 2018 and will see lecturers being drawn from Suriname, the Caribbean and the wider Diaspora.
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