August 15, 2014
Rehabilitation Centre celebrates first anniversary

God’s Eternal Mercy Rehabilitation Centre (GEMRC) is commemorating its first anniversary of operation in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

It is the country’s first dedicated facility for the treatment and rehabilitation of persons affected by drug, alcohol, and other debilitating addictions.{{more}}

A release from the centre said the management and staff are marking the occasion with a number of in-house activities, focusing on assessing the progress of the centre, and the lessons learnt during its year of operation. A team of recovery and rehabilitation professionals from associates in the United States of America has been working along with them to enhance counselling and other related interactive skills.

“Establishing GEMRC is the inspired response of one very concerned Vincentian national, who has been touched by the devastating effects of drug and alcohol abuse in her native land. Cornelia M. Layne has been residing in the USA for over twenty years and makes several trips home annually. Over the years she, like many other patriotic Vincentians, has been struck by the growing number of persons who succumb to addiction, a situation exacerbated by the difficult economic and associated social conditions affecting the Caribbean at this time, and in the case of SVG, the absence of a dedicated rehabilitation and treatment facility.

“An auditor and businesswoman by profession, Layne could not stop thinking of the plight of persons in need of help, with no place to provide it locally. She kept confronting the problem, pausing, and questioning her own competence to address it. But, alas! After prayer and discussion with professionals and various persons working in the field, help was on the way, accompanied by much encouragement, mentoring and other forms of support. They started pushing her to get started. The name God’s Eternal Mercy Rehabilitation Centre reflects the solid faith-based philosophy of the facility,” a release from GEMRC said.

GEMRC is located at Belair, and has a total of 13 client rooms. It offers an intensive three-month residential programme covering counselling, and other rehabilitative interventions, and an outpatient programme, all aimed at placing clients on a path of total recovery, an addiction-free life, the regaining of their self-esteem and a productive place in society. The on-site staff comprises qualified and experienced professional counsellors, office, security, program assistance and domestic personnel.

Clients are expected to strictly adhere to the rules, which are there to protect them, in a safe and secure environment, and are standard requirements in recovery facilities. These regulations cover a number of areas, like frequency and length of visits; who can visit; telephone use; complete abstinence from addictive substances; and restrictions on accepting gifts.

At first, clients are uneasy with the rules, but soon come to realize that they are in place for their own wellbeing, safety and protection. Before admittance to the facility, they are told that their stay will only be successful if they personally invested in their own recovery and are ready to work with the helpers. Clients are required to sign an agreement before admission. This mutual understanding is essential, and non-adherence leads to dismissal from the programme.

GEMRC’s mission statement states that every client who enters the facility will be: educated about the danger of drugs and alcohol; transformed spiritually, mentally, emotionally and psychologically; provided a safe and Godly environment by offering counselling and drug programmes to help clients say, “No to drugs and Yes to abundant and purposeful life.” In pursuit of this challenging, but attainable goal, GEMRC fully recognizes that recovery from addiction is not a “single entity” pursuit, and can only be realized if all who recognize the real and present danger that it poses to our country, commit to doing their part, large or small, to arrest, and eventually reverse, this scourge in our land.