Mental Health and Substance Abuse Workshop to Benefit Dominicans

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Participants of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Workshop

A Mental Health and Substance Abuse Workshop, conducted by the Ministry of Health, led an official ceremony on Wednesday July 31st, at the Occupational Therapy building.

The ongoing workshop began two weeks ago with two more sessions to be completed.

This workshop trains health care workers, and helps them to understand and make a diagnosis, of individuals who abuse substances and drugs.

Ms. Jacinta Bannis, Director of the National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit, said the workshop has been part of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) bi-annual work plan, for over two years.

“These series of workshop will provide significant information to health care professionals and workers on how to address mental health and substance abuse,” she noted.

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Social Worker, Ms. Leslie-Ann Waldron

Survey reports on substance abuse in schools conducted, have shown that children begin to experiment with drugs at an early age.

Social Worker, Ms. Leslie-Ann Waldron, presented a situation analysis on Mental Health and Drug Abuse.

Ms. Waldron said, it is a fact that we experience normal stress in our everyday life; however, we need to find other ways to cope with stress without breaking down.

Young people who have been exposed to some sort of exploitation, in their older years, tend to abuse illegal substances to cope, she stated.

In Dominica, at least 8-9 percent of our patients within each district are substance abusers.

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Ms. Jacinta Bannis, Director of the National Drug Abuse Prevention Unit

It is hoped that the workshop will reduce the use of substance abusers throughout the Island.

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