Photos: Female members of the legal fraternity and staff members engage in meaningful and interactive discussions during the "Stress Management Forum."
Female lawyers in St. Kitts and Nevis attend stress management forum
Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Female Lawyers Sub-Committee of the St. Kitts and Nevis Committee celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) hosted a “Stress Management Forum” for female attorneys-at-law Oct. 25 at UWI Open Campus, Basseterre.
Constance Mitcham, chairperson of the Female Lawyers Sub-Committee, said that the forum was quite important and timely for all involved in the legal profession.
“We deal with a lot of stressful situations in our jobs and we believe that this activity should be a help, not only to us, but to our staff as well, because we all have to cope with other people’s problems, and we think that this would be a good topic [stress management] to start with,” she said.
The forum featured two special guests, Dr. Joylette Woodley-Fassale, general surgeon at the Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital, and Michelle de la Coudray-Blake, director of the Counselling Department in the Ministry of Social Services. Both presenters shared important tips and information with the attendees and engaged in meaningful and interactive discussions.
de la Coudray-Blake advised all to be very careful in their day-to-day duties, as stress should not be taken lightly and should be recognized as something personal and individual.
“It is not a thing; it is your response to the thing, your perception of a thing,” she said. “So, for example, we just had some hurricanes. The hurricane is not the stress; your perception about what the hurricane can do to you – your livelihood, your country, and your level of preparedness to deal with it – that then determines if a person is going to break down and have a hard time dealing with it, or if a person is going to breeze through and say ‘I’ll be ok,’” she said.
She added that the more prepared people feel to deal with situations, the least likely they are to be overwhelmed by them.
Woodley-Fassale shared similar information and noted that although stress is something that should not be taken lightly, it can also be seen as something good to some extent. “…Now don’t get me wrong; a little stress is good, you have to have it,” she said. “As my teacher used to say to me – when you’re going to operate, if you don’t have that tug in your heart, something is wrong and you’re going to make mistakes when you go in and operate. What stress does is that it makes you sharp, it fine-tunes you, it keeps you alert and it says hey, let me take a second look. So that type of stress is good, and even in your profession it keeps you alert and it makes you do the extra research…”
Other activities being planned by the Female Lawyers Sub-Committee to further celebrate ECSC’s 50th anniversary includes a panel discussion on ZIZ in November and an exhibition.