Ministry holds workshop on crisis intervention
March 11, 2011

Ministry holds workshop on crisis intervention

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment held a two-day workshop at the Police Training School earlier this week.{{more}}

The primary goal and purpose of the training of the workshop which was held on March 7 and 8 was to equip the police and health care workers with the skills to promote safety during crises situation, while treating each other and clients with dignity and respect.

The crisis intervention workshop was facilitated by SAIDI, St. Lucia, and funded by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Psychiatrist at the Mental Health Centre, Dr. Amrie Morris-Patterson, said that the police are their closest allies. She said there is a need to improve services offered, but they cannot do this alone. Dr. Morris-Patterson urged nursing personnel and police officers to integrate more and see each other as working partners. Dr. Morris-Patterson hopes that the collaboration will ensure that clients receive necessary care and reduction of injuries.

Inspector Jonathan Nicholls said it is necessary to continue training on a local level so that more police officers can understand their roles and how to react when dealing with mental patients. He said that the role of the police is misunderstood when dealing with mental patients. Nicholls added that the cooperation of relatives is vital in this venture. According to Nicholls, relatives should not wait until the person has become violent to call the police.

PAHO Country Representative Annique Wilson said that PAHO is pleased to be associated with the crisis intervention workshop. Wilson said that any one can become mentally ill. She urged participants to utilize information from the workshop to reduce abuse when dealing with mentally ill patients. Also, Wilson called on the mental health staff to document data on response mechanisms so that the police can be commended when a good job is done.

On day two of the crisis intervention workshop, participants learnt how to cope with personal fear and anxiety; non harmful safety methods and proper documentation of an incident.