Ag. Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 852 7742
Programme Director at the Safe Haven Transitional Centre (SHTC), Mrs. Jacqueline Donovan is urging residents to talk about their mental health status in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Mrs. Donovan said that according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in five adults experience a mental illness each year. She said there are several types of mental illnesses which include depression, anxiety and panic disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse.
Mrs. Donovan added that mental health affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts and it also helps determine how one handles stress, relates to others, and makes choices.
The Programme Director said Mental Health Awareness Month is being observed in May and several activities including an Open House that was held on May 8 aims to educate the public on the services offered by the centre to help clients cope with their disabilities. She explained that persons with mental illnesses are more vulnerable to homelessness and the centre seeks to cater to their needs and provide them the tools to transition back into society.
Mrs. Donovan also called for more community support in helping clients get back on their feet.
“Safe Haven (Transitional Centre) cannot do it alone; Government cannot do it alone; so I am asking you to come work with us and come visit us to see what we need to work together to make a difference in the BVI,” she said.
The centre’s staff will boost their awareness efforts throughout the month by visiting Rite Way and One Mart supermarkets on May 11 at 11:00 a.m. For more information on how to support the Safe Haven Transitional Centre and its efforts, telephone at 468-5815.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates human development and improves the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.
Caption 1 of 3: Mrs. Jacqueline Donovan during the ceremony commencing the Open House on May 8. (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer)
Caption 2 of 3: SHTC Staff giving a tour and explanation of mental health during the Open House on May 8. (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer)
Caption 3 of 3: SHTC Staff member at an information table at the Open House on May 8. (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer)