Barbados Society of Psychology President, Neomi White, (third from right) presenting the mental health care packages to Principal Staff Officer Lt. Colonel Carlos Lovell and Private Justin Harding while (from left) Society member, Sonia Cadogan, Private Shadika Phillips, Society member, Jo-ann Prosper-Chase, and Officer in-charge of the Florence Gittens Medical Facility, Captain Daniel Dash, look on. (J. Carrington/BGIS)

Representatives of the Barbados Society of Psychology today presented a number of mental health care packages to the members of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF).

The donations, consisting of containers with pampering essentials, were officially handed over during a brief presentation ceremony on the patio of the Officers’ Mess at St. Ann’s Fort, The Garrison, St. Michael.

Principal Staff Officer, Lt. Colonel Carlos Lovell, thanking the society for the gesture, said it was an honour and a pleasure to defend Barbados not only from “kinetic threats but from public health threats”.

He continued: “It is our sworn duty. It is also very humbling, … and also very encouraging, when organisations step forward and take the responsibility to acknowledge the efforts of our first responders, recognising that the men and women in uniform sacrifice a lot, particularly since COVID-19 was very new to Barbados and we were very unsure of transmission.”

Lt. Colonel Lovell added: “The members of the Barbados Defence Force were on the frontlines and serving and doing their very best to protect Barbados, and the gesture is greatly appreciated and I express my gratitude to the members of the society, first responders across the island, and Barbadians who continue to adhere to the protocols to ensure that Barbadians remain COVID-19 free.”

He also thanked the media for highlighting when organisations showed their appreciation to first responders in a tangible way.

President of the Society, Noemi White, said there was much anxiety and fear of change surrounding the pandemic worldwide, and commended Government for its handling of the situation thus far. 

“Frontline workers … are on the frontlines assisting with the pandemic, and the novel coronavirus does not discriminate; it can affect anyone. So very often, we are so caught up with what is happening in our own environment and our own family, that we tend to not appropriately acknowledge the work that is being done on the frontlines and to give back and say thank you to these efforts that continue to keep Barbados as safe as possible,” Mrs. White stated.

She said the mental health care packages are designed to ensure that as frontline workers put their lives on the line, they must prioritise their own mental health care before they can render assistance to their peers and others. 

The Barbados Society of Psychology is an association of mental health professionals, psychologists and other allied mental health professionals, and was established in 2001.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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