Tamara's crying out


Tamara's crying out

Observer writer

Saturday, January 23, 2021

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As mental health disorders continue to plague society, especially with the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, recording artiste and psychiatric nurse Tamara Wright-Martin hopes her latest track will offer consolation.

“With this track, I hope to motivate others out there who are going through a lot of trauma and who are going through a lot of drama in their lives. Those who may be overwhelmed with work but also have other passions. It is my prayer that those listening can relate and receive some form of healing. One can recognise that God understands even if we think others don't understand, we can pray to him for our breakthrough,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Titled Cry Out, the track was officially released last November. It was produced by Jay-Vis McIntosh, manager of Pioneer Music.

The Portmore, St Catherine resident received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Northern Caribbean University (NCU). Currently employed at the Bellevue Hospital, she said her daily experiences inspired the single.

“As a psychiatric nurse, I see and hear first-hand what individuals diagnosed go through daily as they battle with mental illness. They strive to be mentally stable, something that we take for granted. Just as how we take our visual sight for granted. Unless we lose sight/vision, that ability to see, we will not appreciate the very organs affixed to our body. The clients fight for their sanity, they struggle to function in their day to day activities. This peaked my interest, inspiring me to write the song Cry Out. Writing, singing, listening to music are forms of therapy that can assist an individual with coping. It is still a part of my job to teach or assist an individual in identifying coping mechanisms. It is also therapeutic for me as well. Music is an area to unwind in after a hard day's work,” Wright- Martin added.

According to the World Health Organization, one in four people globally will be affected by a mental disorder or neurological disorder in their lifetime, and 450 million are affected by these disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, and substance (for example, alcohol and nicotine) dependency.

In the Caribbean, mental health disorders are a leading cause of disability and a major contributor to the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Wright- Martin participated in various national festivals and gospel competitions hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and the Southwest Gospel Fest, which she entered in 2004 as a member of a group called The Redeemers.

The mother of two got baptised at age 11 and is currently a member of the Shekinah Intercessors Outreach Ministry located on Red Hills Road, St Andrew.

Admitting that her occupation is no easy feat, she has found a way to effectively care for her patients.

“It is important that one understands that with mental illness there are a variety of conditions which have unique behavioural patterns. This means one can be extremely calm, while another may get psychotic or extremely aggressive. Establishing a rapport is important so as to gain a level of trust. This would assist with taking care of them. Understanding these behavioural patterns is a progress in teaching an individual how to deal with specific situations, preparing them if there's a crisis. Everyday is not the same. One just needs to prepare themselves,” she said.

A music video for Cry Out is currently in the works.

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