September is Recovery Month worldwide and the Cayman Islands Department of Counselling Services is hosting a series of events under the local theme, “Join the voices of recovery: Together on pathways to wellness.”
Events throughout the month will promote prevention of substance abuse and treatment and counseling for people affected by substance use and abuse and their families.
Counselling Services will hold a kickball activity at John A. Cumber on Sept. 7; the Family Resource Centre will hold a variety of professional talks and sessions at the center on Sept. 18; and Caribbean Haven will host a talent show at the Harquail Theatre on Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, Aug. 20, a panel discussion with Miriam Foster, program coordinator at the Family Resource Centre, Susanne Clements of Department of Counselling Services, and Esther Taylor, clinical supervisor at Caribbean Haven, highlighted Recovery Month and what each of their respective organisations provides.
The group also discussed local aspects of women in recovery, as well as the different events taking place next month and how the public can take part to establish a healthier community for everyone.
Ms Foster said one issue that came to the fore was why women were not accessing the services as much as men and how to make these services more accessible to women. The group also discussed how families could cope with family members abusing substances.
“Recovery Month is a time we celebrate persons in recovery,” said Ms Clements. “Being in recovery is not easy and it is a lot of work to get to that point in a person’s life.”
She added that the organizations wanted to relay the message to people that recovery is possible, treatment does work and there are resources in the community to help them. “An important part of this year’s local theme is that it takes all of us together to make recovery happen, it can’t be just themselves,” said Ms Clements.
“[It] is also important to realize that it is just not about quitting the use of drugs but looking at it as a multifaceted issue and how you can become healthier overall,” Ms Foster said. She acknowledged that counseling in Cayman comes with a lot of stigma but the various services were there to help.
Ms Clements said the Department of Counselling Services not only offers help for drug and alcohol abuse, but also offers family counseling, parent and child conflict resolution, and individual, couples and family services.
Caribbean Heaven is an addiction rehabilitation facility that is the only residential treatment center on the island for people with substance abuse problems, said Ms Taylor. “We offer a men’s and women’s program, which is based on a therapeutic concept, not just counseling, but a behavior modification type of program.” Withdrawal programs and other help is also offered at the center.
“The Family Resource Centre works with the other two agencies … by providing support with the family to come together to better the situation,” said Ms Foster. “We also have family services for those with substance [issues] or addictive behaviors; a Befrienders program, and provide crisis intervention.”