Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 26, 2020 (SKNIS): As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to take a physical and mental toll on the lives of many, citizens and residents in St. Kitts and Nevis can rest assured that members of the Mental Health and Psycho-social Committee within the Ministry of Health stand ready and willing to give support to those in need.
“We would like you to know that the mental health team continues to provide mental health and psycho-social support to the Federation. We remind persons that it is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during the pandemic. Talking to people you can trust can help,” said Dr. Cherrilyn Warde Crawford, Clinical Psychologist within the Ministry of Health, at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing for April 26, 2020, adding that to date, the team has provided support to 121 contacts.
Dr. Crawford said that the team embarked on a campaign to disseminate information – in the form of short articles – about taking care of one’s mental health during the pandemic. Articles shared to date include: Supporting vulnerable populations during COVID-19; Parenting during COVID-19; Managing Anxiety; Reducing Stigma, and Managing Stress.
“We are asking members of the public to read the short articles and enhance their awareness of the varying responses to this pandemic and gain insight about coping. This is positive, accurate and share-worthy information,” said Dr. Crawford. “All of these articles and more can be found on the St. Kitts Mental Health Association Facebook page. Please visit this page daily for tips about how to boost your mental health and how to cope with stress and anxiety associated with the COVID-19 experience.”
The Mental Health and Psycho-social Committee also rolled out other initiatives including but not limited to partnering with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to “conduct a virtual psycho-social support seminar for hot-line workers, teachers, and faith-based and community leaders; virtual presentations for the Rotary Club and at the Antioch Baptist Church, as well as the preparation of public service announcements about mental health and coping, which are currently on rotation on ZIZ Television and Radio.
Dr. Crawford used the occasion to publicly thank the members of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Committee for “their support in crafting the mental health response to COVID-19. I am grateful for your expertise, passion, team spirit and commitment to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis during this pandemic,” she added.