Taking the lead in educating the public about the impact of the economic downturn on people’s mental health will be the main item on the agenda when the Barbados Mental Health and Support Association meets on Thursday, February 26.

The association will hold its first panel discussion for the year, entitled: “Loss of Means (financial) and Its Impact on the Mental Health of A Nation” at the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Jemmott’s Lane St. Michael at 7:00 p.m.

Assistant Director of the National Assistance Board (NAB) and President of the NAB’s Bereavement Support Association (BSA), Deianne Sobers; and two other members of the BSA, Pazon Bailey and Jean Murrell will comprise the panelists.

Moderator for the session will be Senior Psychiatric Social Worker and founding member of the Association, Geoffrey Small.

Noting the rationale for the panel discussion Mr. Small said: “With the global economic downturn and the potential for loss of earnings by some (persons), there is a need for discussion on the impact this will have on people’s mental health in terms of depression, suicide and stress as well as their ability to cope. It is only fitting that individuals in the area of social work, psychology and psychiatry take the lead.”

The Barbados Mental Health and Support Association was launched in April 2008 to meet the challenges experienced by persons suffering with mental illnesses and their care-givers, to identify their various needs and ensure a ready forum for meeting and discussing any related issues.

Members of the public are especially invited to attend this panel discussion.

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