26 Westmoreland stakeholders complete psychological first aid training
ST JAMES, Jamaica – Twenty-six front-line service providers and community members in Westmoreland have successfully completed training in Psychological First Aid (PFA).
A graduation ceremony was held at Luna Sea Inn in Bluefields, Westmoreland, on Monday for the second iteration of the training that forms part of ongoing government and allied stakeholder efforts to support individuals experiencing stress and trauma as a result of frequent exposure to crime and violence.
The engagement, which was conducted from November 6 to 27, was spearheaded by the Citizen Security Secretariat in the Ministry of National Security and the European Union (EU).
The training is deemed critical to the successful implementation of the Citizen Security Plan (CSP), which is a government policy framework to establish and implement a strategic roadmap to counter the impact of crime on communities.
In her address to the graduates, Minister of State in the ministry, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn hailed their commitment to the programme as a strong dedication to effecting positive change.
“To you, the graduating class of 26 dedicated individuals working for various agencies and organisations, including HEART/NSTA Trust, Sav United, Restorative Justice, CPFSA (Child Protection and Family Services Agency), Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Project Star, and Frome Technical High School, I extend heartfelt congratulations to all of you,” she said.
“All of you graduates, drawn from various agencies and organisations, are strategically positioned across some 20 communities in Westmoreland, namely Savanna-la-Mar, Cooke Street, Harmony Town, Russia, New Market Oval, Frome, Petersfield, George’s Plain, Petersville, Grange Hill, Farm Pen, as well as communities within the Zones of Special Operations,” she added.
Cuthbert-Flynn said their newly found expertise will undoubtedly make a substantial impact on the ground, fostering resilience and support in the daily complex lives of persons in violent communities.
She noted that the graduates have been equipped, not only to identify those in need but also to listen, support, and connect individuals with essential services.
The state minister pointed out that this aligns with the Government’s overall goal of creating safer communities, and reflects a dedication to fostering resilience and support where it is most needed in Westmoreland.
“This Citizen Security Plan, which is built on a whole-of-government… and multi-sectoral approach, aims at reducing crime and violence, fostering safer spaces and nurturing the growth of both citizens and their communities,” Cuthbert-Flynn emphasised.
Mediator of the Westmoreland Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre, Clayton Parchment, was upbeat about the significant benefit the training will have on supplementing his mediation efforts.
He stated that his new skills will enable him to better aid and assist individuals who are in great need.
“What can be expected from me is a greater delivery of services to the community, whether through volunteerism or whatever cause there is, as I continue to lend myself to the betterment of Westmoreland and Jamaica, by extension,” Parchment indicated.
Westmoreland Justice of the Peace, Zornalyn Smith-Miller, who shared her perspective on the importance of the PFA course, highlighted the utility of the training in executing her duties more efficiently and assisting individuals in critical situations.
She expressed gratitude for being part of a group dedicated to utilising psychological first aid to initiate positive change.