The Ministry of Health has developed a programme to meet the psychological needs of the population following the passage of Hurricane Maria.
According to Dr. Griffin Benjamin, Consultant Psychiatrist, the programme is aimed at meeting the vulnerable, those in shelters and the elderly as soon as possible during the daily press briefing on Tuesday, 10 October, 2017.
“Our team of counsellors and trauma specialists both local and visitors alike, we’re trying to meet people at the soonest time possible. We encourage shelter managers to allow our team to reach everyone,” he said.
Dr. Benjamin also encouraged community leaders and district health teams to mobilize their communities, as the team of experts will be going from one community to the next.
“Our team and those experts who have joined us here, we are waiting to be directed to each community around Dominica. We want to hold meetings with your communities. At those meetings persons will be encouraged to express themselves and release the tension and the stress they went through, inflicted on them by hurricane Maria,” he explained.
These meetings he added will give the community leaders and the disaster managers a chance to give information on the ongoing relief efforts which he said is the “biggest operation in Dominica right now”.
Meanwhile, World Mental Health Day is celebrated each year on October 10. This year it coincided with Tuesday’s press briefing which focused on Psycho-social support in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Dr. Benjamin said this year’s theme is ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’, but said, in Dominica due to the passage of Hurricane Maria, this is for everyone.
“This campaign this year is bigger than ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’; it is mental health for one hundred percent of Dominicans in and out of the workplace and I dear say many Dominicans may not be in the workplace even if they were in the workplace before the arrival of Maria,” he said.