UG hosts symposium to address suicide and youth violence

20th November, 2017 0 comments

The University of Guyana (UG) in collaboration with the Caribbean Alliance of National Psychological Associations (CANPA) today presented a Suicide, Youth Violence and Professional Psychology Symposium at the Pegasus Hotel.

The all-day symposium saw presentations from academics and stakeholders of the education and health sectors on Suicide, Violence, and Psychology.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings stated that the symposium is timely and relevant since it comes at a time when Guyana is faced with many social problems.

“This programme will produce highly trained practitioners capable of competently and professionally addressing the variety of mental health issues in order to enhance the lives of those who often times suffer in silence. More importantly, our new professionals will be able to address the stigma and humiliation to which both victims and family members are subjected by society,” Dr. Cummings said.

She reiterated the importance of psychologists in society while noting that she is confident the symposium will lead to the formulation of strategies to advance the study of psychology in Guyana.

“Today’s symposium I am certain will provide a valuable opportunity for psychology professionals from different cultural backgrounds and diverse field to explore the impact of psychology as a field of practice on community and individual mental health care,”

President of CANPA, Professor Omwowale Marshall noted his satisfaction in partnering with the University and explained the aim of his organisation.

“What we have come to do is to show you an array of glimpses of psychology, psychological science, and practice; so that you can see what our profession can offer Guyana,” Professor Marshall expressed.

Meanwhile, UNICEF representative, Paolo Marchi said the seminar will assist in the protection of children and pointed out that according to UNICEF reports, the Caribbean has one of the highest rates of violence against children in the world

“According to Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014, almost 70 percent of Guyanese children have been victims of a form of violence. Violence often leaves visible scars, violence always leaves invisible ones,” Marchi underscored.

He added, “Today’s event not only highlights the gravity of the level of violence including self-harm and suicide but also provides an opportunity for us to know what the trends are, what are the emergency issues we must consider, and how these issues can be prevented and treated.”

The symposium saw panel discussions on Reducing Selected Risk Factors, Screening to Intervene Early, Effective and Promising Psychological Interventions and
Expressions of Youth Violence and a Professional Response.

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