Kingston, Jamaica: Under the project brought out by the Social Work Training and Research Centre (SWTRC) at The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Open Campus, A total of 26 residents from three Corporate Area communities have been trained as mental health.
The citizens from Allman Town, August Town and Jones Town, have been furnished with knowledge and skills to respond to mental health needs as they arise inside their communities.
Cerita Buchanan, head of the SWTRC, stated that the purpose of the Mental Health First Responders Project is to support the work being undertaken in the region by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
She also noted that it is so important and so we have the Ministry of Health and Wellness as an associate partner on this project.
Buchanan also added that the We are conscious that the ministry is doing a lot of training, and other agencies (as well), but what we realised is, the focus is more from a clinical and disease approach. So we believed that we wanted to look at mental health in a more holistic way.
“What we require to do is to create a cadre of persons, who are concentrated as first responders at the community level. So we are not just looking at the mental breakdown as it relates to psychosis,” she replied.
This training was funded under the European Union-funded poverty reduction programme, with the support of $3 million from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
Sensitisation workshops were first brought out in the communities, after which 26 people were chosen to participate in the first responders training. Those include pastors, teachers, community workers and one correctional officer.
They were taken within a 30-hour training programme, which ended in November.
Meanwhile, Buchanan stated that the entity is doing some further study in terms of community mental health and also some training.