by Curlan Campbell
- CDB funding will further expand holistic intervention programmes at Carlton Home/House
- Architectural design work for Carlton Home commences in 2023
- Alternative sites sought to locate wellness centre in environment that facilitates recuperation
Permanent Secretary Kevin Andall, responsible for Wellness & Religious Affairs, dedicated this year to Mental Health & Wellness and reaffirmed Government’s commitment in keeping with its national transformation agenda.
He was speaking at the launch of the Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited ‘Pump it Up’ family fun held at Coyaba Beach Resort last Wednesday, 8 March 2023. He announced that apart from drafting the National Wellness Policy, Government has secured CDB funding under the “Health Centre Strengthening Project” of US$630,000 to further expand the possible intervention programmes at the Carlton Home to reflect holistic wellness rather than just treating substance abuse. He stated that the first phase would include the architectural design work for Carlton Home commencing in 2023 and the first quarter of 2024, after which the second phase will assess the scope of work and cost of re-building the wellness centre.
“We are not only looking to treat substance abuse, but other emotional and mental health services can be offered in that centre. As a matter of fact, we are doing preliminary work regarding the site because the old site is really not suitable for a centre like that, so we are looking for lands in St Andrew at the Mirabeau area and some other places where the wellness centre would be in an environment that facilitates recuperation.”
The Ministry of Health intends to establish other health and wellness centres throughout the tri-island state and is expected to hold public consultations to engage key stakeholders in the mental health field for advice on what should be made available at the centres. The new health and wellness centres will work in hand with the existing Mt Gay Psychiatric facility to treat minor mental health conditions, and there will also be an initiative to help remove the stigma attached to the existing facility. In addition, the Ministry has embarked on a wellness public awareness campaign to include ‘Grenada Shifts’, which promotes healthy living standards and wellness through food and nutrition security, meditation, and exercise. The Ministry has also started designating every Wednesday as ‘Stress break Wednesday’ to encourage its workers to take a break and relax.
Andall also encourages the private sector to do the same by allowing workers to relax for 10 minutes from their busy schedules.
Meanwhile, after a 3-year hiatus due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the’ Pump it Up’ family fun walk promises to be better. This unavoidable disruption prevented the bank from reaching its $500,000 goal in 2017 to re-establish services at the Carlton Home rehabilitation centre for substance abusers by 2021.
Managing Director Larry Lawrence stated that the bank has decided to extend its charitable efforts by another 2 years, with all the revenues from the sale of packages going towards its overarching goal. The bank had previously committed to increasing the amount match for each registered participant from $1 to $1.50 per person, per mile, in addition to the bank’s contribution.
“All collections from the sale of packages will be deposited directly towards the re-establishment of services at the Carlton Home. When we started in 2017, our goal was to raise $500,000 in 5 years. Unfortunately, from 2020 to 2022, we were impacted by Covid-19, and as a result, we were not able to hold the event. To date, we have raised about $350,000 and intend to extend our efforts by a commensurate 2 years, which will be 2023 and 2024, to facilitate the pursuit of this initiative.”
Benefactors include Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd., Jonas Browne & Hubbard Ltd, and FLOW, who have been on board from the outset of the project, accompanied by Antillean Group, pledged their support by each donating cheques worth $15,000 towards the initiative. Coyaba Beach Resort, Waggy T Rentals and Body Image also pledged their support. Present were Kennie John of Antillean Group; Nigel Adams and Ronald Hughes from Guardian General Insurance; Osmond Henry of Jonas Browne & Hubbard, and Lincoln Baptiste from Flow.
The returned ‘Pump It Up’ family fun walk will begin in Carriacou, from Harvey Vale playing field to the Hillsborough playing field on Sunday, 26 March, and in Grenada on Sunday, 23 April, from the Morne Rouge playing field to the National Cricket Stadium.