Belize hosts 13th Annual Mental Health Programme

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
The Belize Ministry of Health, Mental Health Program recently concluded its 13th Annual Mental Health Program Workshop from 11th to 13th, June, 2015 at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.

The event opened with a short ceremony with remarks from the Deputy Regional Manager, Western Region, Ms. Desiree Mejia. She spoke on the importance of good mental health since it supports the ability to have good and healthy relationships while emphasizing the ability to cope with the natural vagaries of life. Dr. Fidel Cuellar, Chief of Staff, San Ignacio Community Hospital spoke on the importance of involving general medical practitioners on the discussion of good mental health as part of their conversation in daily practice and as part of their patient evaluation.

Mejia also congratulated all participating psychiatric nurse practitioners for the selfless and thankless work they in the context of limited resources. Meanwhile, Nurse Eleanor Bennett, Nursing Administrator for the Mental Health Program presented an overview of the three day programme which focused mainly on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

She indicated that the focus on this topic was critical since it was now the most sought after choice of treatment in the world and the workshop would export Belize nurses to this form of therapy.

Over the three days, the nurses were exposes to: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression, Psychosis, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia as well as the adoption of the treatments to medical problems and discussion on treatment of various forms of anxiety disorders (including GAD with phobia) and other mental illnesses.
Dr. Cindy Aaronson, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai, New York and Dr. Stan Arco, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital were facilitators of the workshop.

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