28 July 2021—Adolescent health and wellness have been thrusted into sharp and indispensable focus across the Caribbean region since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. For healthcare professionals such as Ciladelle Glen, the average medical routine has been far from normal during this ever-changing period. Utilizing and directing available resources to children and their parents has been of paramount importance for this Rotarian and graduate of the United Kingdom’s University of Northampton. It has been a key element in keeping families safe, calm and hopeful during a time of uncertainty, fear and unease that has swept through Caribbean communities.
As an essential worker familiar with adolescent-friendly environments such as centres as well as health & wellness clinics, Glen has always underscored the importance of and integrated recommendations for Psychological First Aid (PFA) as a strategic frontline step for self-learning for professionals and the wider society. Her impassioned work ethic is well-known among her peers at the Ministry of Health’s Adolescent Health Department, where she currently works as a Coordinator to shape the development and implementation of programs and services to address adolescent health across her homeland of Guyana. “I work a lot with adolescents, and they are one of the target groups that are constantly left out when it comes to mental health,” the 2018/2019 Chevening Scholar Alumna noted.
Lamenting the lack of focus of resources towards this demographic, Glen, who recently completed her master’s degree in Child & Adolescent Mental Health at the University of Guyana, stressed on the importance of paying particular attention to the youth during the pandemic.