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T&T gets first stress relief clinic

Rocio Higuera
T&T gets first stress relief clinic

The coun­try’s first stress re­lief clin­ic has been es­tab­lished at En­deav­our Road, Ch­agua­nas, by the North Cen­tral Re­gion­al Health Au­thor­i­ty (NCRHA) in re­sponse to calls for greater at­ten­tion to be paid to men­tal health is­sues.

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Since the clin­ic be­gan op­er­at­ing in May 2018 un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Prof Ger­ard Hutchin­son, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gists have con­duct­ed 258 vis­its.

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At its of­fi­cial launch yes­ter­day, con­cerns were raised about emerg­ing trends at the Ch­agua­nas Dis­trict Health Fa­cil­i­ty where re­cent sta­tis­tics show that there had been more than 50 cas­es of at­tempt­ed sui­cide at­tempt record­ed at the emer­gency room over the past 12 months.

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Clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Samid­ha Ma­haraj said sui­cide rates were much high­er among In­do-Trinida­di­ans

Draw­ing from the da­ta amassed from the free clin­ic which is held every Fri­day, she said: “The range is such a wide spec­trum and us­ing stats from what I saw in the clin­ic so far, it’s lit­er­al­ly been from ado­les­cents go all the way up to adult­hood.”

Ma­haraj said there had been a marked in­crease among males in their mid-thir­ties and caus­es ranged from BioPsy­choSo­cial (BPS) to ge­net­ic and even a high­ly-stress­ful en­vi­ron­ment

“Stress to me is the num­ber one fac­tor. A lot of peo­ple come in­to the clin­ic with high stress-re­lat­ed prob­lems and when you com­bine that with oth­er well-known men­tal health ill­ness prob­lems like de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, the sui­ci­dal­i­ty rate is ac­tu­al­ly in­creas­ing.”

Men­tal Health Man­ag­er at the Min­istry of Health, Ashvi­ni Nath said the sui­cide fig­ures un­der­scored the ur­gent need to ex­pand the fa­cil­i­ty to all the re­gion­al health au­thor­i­ties

NCRHA’s Deputy Chair­man Elvin Ed­wards said the fa­cil­i­ty provideed sup­port to per­sons hav­ing is­sues cop­ing with re­la­tion­ships, work stress, sex­u­al­i­ty, school, abuse and oth­er trau­mat­ic ex­pe­ri­ences