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Mental Health and Disasters in The Bahamas

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Dr. Devora Kestel,  PAHO/WHO's Regional Advisor on Mental Health, visited The Bahamas on March 12 and 13, 2013.  The overall objective of her visit was to provide technical advice and training to the institutions and personnel involved in the activities related to disaster preparedness and response, with particular emphasis on issues surrounding mental health response during emergencies.  

Captain Stephen Russell, NEMA’s Director, addressing workshop attendees

During Dr. Devora's visit, she had the opportunity to meet with Capt. Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency [NEMA] of The Bahamas, as well as members of the health cluster: Ministry of Health, Department of Public Health, Public Hospitals Authority, Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Royal Bahamas Police and Defense Forces, Ministry of National Security, Red Cross Bahamas Society and The Salvation Army.  During the meeting, the various sub–sectorial plans to respond to disasters were presented and the need to incorporate various items related to mental health was highlighted.  

Dr. Devora Kestel addressing workshop attendees during presentation

Dr. Kestel also used this occasion to meet with Mrs. Sharon Williams, Administrator of the Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, in order to assess the advancements made in the implementation of the WHO MhGAP in the country;  review the strategy for developing the new model of care, and offer further assistance in the development of a training program on mental health for nurses, incorporating the new approaches in this area.

Dr. Devora Kestel talks to workshop attendees

On the final day of the visit, Dr. Kestel conducted a one-day workshop entitled: "Psychological First Aid During Disasters."   Almost 40 representatives from different institutions attended this event.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 19:59

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