Letters to the Editor: Join the voices for recovery

Each September Recovery Month is
observed across the globe.

Against this background, the
Ministry of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing wholeheartedly supports local
residents who have taken the bold step away from substance misuse and other
addictive behaviour, onto the recovery path. 

The Ministry also views the month
as an opportunity to reaffirm support for hardworking staff in both the public
and private sectors, particularly those who dedicate their time to guiding
persons who are struggling to get their lives on track.

It is often said—and it bears
repeating—that the effects of addiction extend beyond those who are addicted,
to impact family, community, and indeed the wider society.

This year’s theme for Recovery
Month is: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Now More Than Ever!”

And we should therefore understand
that it is in all our interests to sustain the efforts to promote healthy
lifestyles in our families and our neighbourhoods. Endorsing health and encouraging
recovery can only help to solidify the foundations of social stability.

This year’s Recovery Month has a
special focus on stress management. This is especially fitting as persons try
to cope with added challenges, whether in their personal lives, in economic
issues, public safety and more.

With such pressures in mind, we
need to commit to positively influencing the lives of those who are seeking
peace of mind, transformation and healing. 
Let us strive to avoid any tendency to judge and condemn persons, the
very same ones who in so many instances are most needful of our love and
support.

For our part, government continues
to establish strong institutions and programmes to strengthen the family unit,
for this is the main socializing agent in our society.

We have now established a Family
Resource Unit under the Department of Counselling Services which offers
services previously provided by the National Parenting and Young Parent Programmes,
and the Women’s Resource Centre.

The FRU is now increasing the focus
on families by offering training workshops on abuse and programmes that foster
harmony in families. The centre also offers guidance on proper parenting,
particularly while dealing with stress management and other issues that impact
the family. 

 These services are ongoing while the wider Department
of Counselling Services provides family, individual and group counselling at
The Counselling Centre, and residential treatment for addiction and recovery at
Caribbean Haven Residential Centre.

In turn, the Department of Children
and Family Services continues to materially assist numbers of families, to
minimize the impact of economic hardship, and Ministry staff also work hard to
develop special programmes for our at risk youth.  Each department continues to work diligently
to assist families who are impacted by Addiction and the process of Recovery.

While the Government continues to
provide recovery assistance, let us not overlook our individual roles and
responsibilities. Right here in our own communities, we can make a difference
in preventing addiction and in the effort to support those who are striving to
recover.

So during this Recovery Month let
us join, “now more than ever”, with The Department of Counselling Services and
work for this most worthwhile of causes.

God Bless you all.

Mike Adam

Minister of Community Affairs,
Gender and Housing

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