St James Custos offers counselling to cope with effects of crime wave


St James Custos offers counselling to cope with effects of crime wave

Observer correspondent

Friday, January 22, 2021

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Custos of St James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, says he and his team at the Faith Temple Assembly of God, in the parish, will be offering counselling sessions to individuals feeling overwhelmed or disheartened by the recent surge in violence that has left the parish reeling.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, Bishop Pitkin explained that the mental and emotional health of the residents of St James, are major concerns, especially those grieving the death of loved ones killed during the recent carnage.

“We are offering counselling to our citizens because we know [how] frightened and anxious they are currently feeling. As citizens of this parish, we understand the anxiety and we want to help in the best way that we can. Our hearts are with these families mourning their loved ones. This has been very heavy,” said Pitkin.

Over the last weekend into Monday, St James recorded eight murders. Among them was an elderly woman who was shot and killed in Quarry and a well-loved deaf-mute man in the Norwood.

“My sincere condolences to the grieving families. I know and understand the pain they are currently experiencing. The trauma that the children are also experiencing is very troubling and weighs on my mind. They can all be assured that our prayers are with [them] and we would love to speak [with] them,” the custos said.

In the meantime, he is urging residents to remain vigilant and have faith that members of the security forces will be effective.

“Take heart and try not to panic. I know it is easier said than done but just hope and trust that our security teams are doing their very best to keep us safe.

“To the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force , we appreciate the continuous commitment to the residents of St James and my prayers are with you all during this difficult time,” added Pitkin.

Persons interested in the counselling sessions being offered may contact Pitkin and his team by phone at (876) 952-3436 or visit the Faith Temple Assembly of God's website for more information.

Sessions can be done either in person or online, and will be in line with COVID-19 prevention protocols across the island.

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