Apr 10, 2018 News
Alcohol and substance abuse is tightly interwoven into all the mental health disorders and maladies that plague the local society.
This was the declaration of Director of the Ministry of Public Health’s Mental Health Unit, Dr. Util Richmond-Thomas, when she addressed the opening of a mental health workshop at the Quamina Street, Georgetown, Mental Health Unit.
In fact, Dr. Richmond-Thomas revealed yesterday that based on information from the National Psychiatric Hospital and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, more than 70 percent of the psychiatric admissions are due to both factors.
“Alcohol and substance abuse are very, very linked to those admissions, and had it not been for those problems in our society, those staff members would have very little to do,” said the Mental Health Director.
She revealed that not only do those persons who suffer from such additions have more frequent relapses, but they are more resistant to treatment.
Added to this, Dr. Richmond-Thomas revealed, “we also have the issue of suicide…one that comes to mind is the issue in Baramita, Region One, where a lot of suicides are committed under the influence of alcohol.”
As such she revealed that the Ministry is involved in a self-harm surveillance project. But she disclosed that most persons indulging in self-harm are usually the products of dysfunctional families, where alcohol and substance abuse is very prevalent. Self-harm, according to Dr. Richmond-Thomas, is the strongest predictor of future suicide therefore, “we cannot treat our suicide and self-harm problem without addressing our alcohol and substance abuse issues.”
Intended to help boost local capacity in terms of the quality of mental health care offered, the drug treatment training workshop, which is being funded by the Organisation of American States [OAS], is set to span a period of 19 days.
The University of the West Indies [UWI]-certified programme is geared specifically at improving the quality of treatment services available for persons with addiction problems. A total of 35 officials drawn from the Mental Health Unit, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Phoenix Recovery Project, Salvation Army, Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, Guyana Police Force, Guyana Prisons Service and officials from Regions One, Five, Six, Seven and 10, are among the participants.
According to Dr. Richmond-Thomas, “The certificate is very marketable and it has a lot of significance for the mental health and the overall health of everyone in Guyana, because as the saying goes, there is no health without mental health.”
Also speaking at the start of the programme yesterday was OAS Country Representative, Mr. Jean Ricot Dormeus. He noted that the workshop is one aimed at providing a solution to the dependency of many drug addicts in Guyana. He noted too that over the next few days, the Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission [CICAD] and UWI will train the 35 participants and certify their knowledge competence and skills.
“The participants who reach the requirement of the course will function as drug treatment specialists and service providers equipped to develop and implement drug abuse treatment programmes,” said Dormeus, as he commended the Government of Guyana for embarking on the training programme.
The OAS Representative, in acknowledging that there is more to be done, recognised that Guyana has been making continuous strides to advance its delivery of mental health care. He moreover revealed that in 2016, Guyana completed a prevention programme which certified 32 Drug Prevention Professionals with the acquired skills. These professionals, according to Dormeus, have impacted on the lives of many people, including helping vulnerable youths to keep from the pull of narcotics.
Exxon has to put up a sign board across the Demerara Harbour Bridge to tell Guyanese what % of revenue we are getting from the Stabroek Block!
Dec 05, 2022Kaieteur News – The Inaugural Boys Under-13 Inter-County 40 overs tournament, hosted by The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), initially scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at Albion,...
Dec 05, 2022
Dec 05, 2022
Dec 05, 2022
Dec 05, 2022
Dec 04, 2022
Kaieteur News – Believe it or leave it, I am typing this column at 4.40 AM Sunday. I got up at 2AM and did not go back... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]