On Saturday, the Civil Affairs arm of the US Embassy, in collaboration with the Guyana Medical Relief and Region 10 Councillors, hosted a mental health training at the Mackenzie Primary School. It targeted persons affected by mental health issues and those having difficulty recovery from those issues.
The Civil Affairs arm focuses on humanitarian services and works along with local and regional organizations, to identify social issues within communities and to lead initiatives which provide solutions to those issues. Relative to this training, the organization became cognisant of the rising levels of suicide in Region 10, as well as the challenges residents are facing from economic pressure brought on by the pandemic, amongst other things. The training aimed at equipping the participants with the necessary tools to analyse triggering events and create healthy coping and resolution situations. Peer teaching was one of the goals of the programme, as the idea is for participants to become equipped with the necessary tools to teach other persons in their communities how to use resiliency training to combat suicide.
According to the team’s leader Aaron Staton, “the point of the training is to help people realise the negative thoughts and the negative impacts while they are happening. Maybe triggering events, like if you lose a job or if you have lost a loved one, you have to realise that you’re going to think differently at those times and so through this training, we can help people have a better outlook or mindset during these times, so it will be lesser of a risk of committing suicide.”
With the recent flooding that affected several communities in Region 10, particularly farming communities, many residents plunged into depression, since they lost significantly on their livelihood. Kara Kara was of those communities, hence, the reason the training was conducted there.
Team Sergeant Darren Thurman, encouraged the participants to, “be the ball and not the egg; be able to bounce back and not crack under pressure.”
Similar training sessions were conducted in Port Kaituma and Bartica while a medical outreach will be held in Essano on January 29th, 2022.
Some of the humanitarian services offered by the organization include medical outreaches, mental health taining, first- aid training and water filter donations, mainly in the hinterland or mining communities where residents’ water becomes contaminated because of bad mining or environmental accidents.