18 February 2011 Belize City – The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in Belize (PAHO/WHO) and the Mental Health Association launched the Training of Community Nurses in Mental Health. The launching was held at the UWI Open Campus Belize City with over 170 participating nurses representing the four health regions.
Claudina E. Cayetano, Director of the Mental Health Program, explained the objective of the training which is to provide participants with knowledge of mental health promotion, prevention of mental and alcohol or substance abuse disorders, and community-based care for persons with mental health disorders.
In his keynote address, Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services, emphasized that “Nursing is more than just a job. It is a commitment to people and health care”. He endorsed the training program as instrumental for the integration of mental health into primary health care in Belize.
José Pérez, PAHO/WHO Technical Advisor en Belize, reiterated PAHO’s commitment to partnerships and technical cooperation, and highlighted the significance of the program for community nursing and for patients with mental health disorders in rural areas.
The training is financially supported by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, UK, in collaboration with PAHO/WHO. It is a 13 week training course starting February 25 to May 27 2011 and 13 weeks of practicum. This training is being coordinated by the Ministry of Health, the Mental Health Association and the UWI Open Campus as the trainer institution.