In recognition of National Women’s Week (NWW) which is being observed in The Bahamas from Sunday, November 26 – Saturday, December 2, 2023, the Department of Gender and Family Affairs and the Bahamas Psychological Association (BPA) hosted a Psychological First Aid Training (PFA) Session for Caregivers.
Representatives of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, civil society, non-governmental agencies and various government agencies participated in the NWW Mental Health Segment which took place in the Hearing Room, Aventura Plaza, John F. Kennedy Drive.
Permanent Secretary Joel Lewis spoke at the “soft” opening ceremony and officially launched the event on behalf of the Hon. Myles LaRoda, State Minister for Social Services, Information and Broadcasting. The week is being observed to bring a greater awareness and encourage residents to stop the violence especially violence against women and girls.
Mr. Lewis emphasized that although the 61st anniversary (celebrated this year) since women in The Bahamas voted for the first time is an opportunity to celebrate those who paved the way for women to excel in areas of politics, business, medicine and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), it is important to recognize the struggles that women and girls continue to endure as a result of violence perpetrated against them even after disasters that negatively impact their homes and communities.
Said Mr. Lewis, “This emotional trauma can lead to mental illness, suicide and even homicide. Not only adults, but our children can also experience this trauma which may include shock, fear, depression and anxiety.”
Mr. Lewis applauded the Department of Gender and Family Affairs and the NWW Committee along with the BPA for the training opportunity.
The goal of PFA is to reduce stress symptoms and assist in a healthy recovery following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, or even a personal crisis
The facilitators were: Dr. Detra Bethell, Byron Guerier and Megan Johnson.