July 28, 2015
50 participants undergoing training in drug, violence prevention treatment, rehabilitation

A training programme, which aims to make a significant contribution to drug and violence prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, is presently taking place in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

The opening ceremony for the programme, which goes by the name PROCCER, {{more}}took place on July 14 at Marion House.

The course consists of six trainers and 50 participants and would take place for three to seven days a month for six months, and includes the participation of experts from the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, educational counsellors, health care providers and staff members of the Ministry of National Mobilization.

Coordinator Kerry-Ann Hamilton said that in gaining participation from these different government sectors, there would be a better approach in influencing individuals who are affected.

“…at the end of it each person would be able to go back out into their organization and community and be able to have an impact on the life of individuals or family affected.”

Dr Rosmond Adams, representative of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, addressing the opening ceremony of the in-country training programme, said that there must be a holistic approach in order to properly deal with health.

“We cannot speak of health or attempt to have a holistic approach towards health if we don’t address the mental health component of health.” He noted that being healthy must deal with the total physical, mental and social well-being of an individual and not just merely the absence of diseases.

Adams stressed that by equipping the people with the knowledge and skills, the impact of drug use within the society will be lessened, but if not addressed, the situation will continue to affect society.

“Left unchecked, incidents of drug use will continue to affect our youth, family structure and dynamics, whilst becoming increasingly burdensome on the health care system. It will become a threat to national security and the socio-economic status.”

Adams advised participants to prepare for a challenge and to be inspired.

Trainer Beverly Neptune said that drug abuse and mental disorders affect everyone and not only the person who is directly consuming it.

“When a family has one person on drugs, a father who may come home and abuse his children and wife…. We are all fighting the same battle.”

OAS representative Diana Browne, in her speech, said addiction was once considered only a bad habit and not a disease to society. She said “fortunately, addiction is now being acknowledged as a disease impacting society as a whole,” adding that the training programme would ease some of the burdens off the Government in confronting the problems of addiction.

PROCCER is certified by the University of the West Indies (UWI) and involves active experts from the OAS, Caribbean member states, the National Drug Council and academics of the St George’s University.

Training would be conducted by Beverly Neptune, Keneal Stephens, Julianna Browne Charles, Kerry Ann Hamilton, Deborah Dalrymple and Jeannie Ollivierre.

There are 196 trained prevention specialists and 227 trained treatment service providers throughout the region.(CT)