The National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA) has the full support of Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, for their projects and programmes.
This assurance was given by him as he toured the NCSA office at the Corner 1st Ave Belleville & Pine Road, St. Michael, earlier this week, accompanied by Permanent Secretary Deborah Payne and Director of Public Affairs, Pat Parris.
The staff got a chance to highlight what they believe was needed for them to be more productive and for the organisation to be more visible.
“I must say I was heartened by the frankness of the staff, you were so upfront and vocal about your concerns, this for me is a good sign,” he said.
The Minister expressed his appreciation for the work the NCSA has and continues to do as they tackle all areas of substance abuse, a task he lamented as vital since it hampers the youth and their social development.
Among some of the issues highlighted was that of “making a louder noise,” since he believes that as much as the institution has been doing what he termed “exceptional work”, more people need to know.
While staff highlighted the need for more funding, he is of the view that with more visibility the need for government injected funding may be less since more local, regional and international organisations may be more willing to give.
“Reach out to more community-based organisations and spread the message; let the youth tell their story; let them be the advocate and face of the NCSA,” he recommended.
Permanent Secretary Payne lauded the NCSA’s board, management and staff for their work, under what she termed “trying times”.
She said the Ministry is committed to ensuring that the work continues and she would do what she could to make this possible.
During the tour, the Minister was presented with a copy of the National Primary School Survey 2020 by Deputy Manager Troy Wickham, a report that will be launched and made public later this year.
He and his delegation also got a chance to see many of the peripherals and equipment that the council uses in its everyday work with the schools, the community and those who utilise its counselling programme.