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Ministry of Health to host ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ seminar

Ministry of Health to  host ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ seminar

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The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, in recognition of its mandate to improve psychosocial services, will be hosting a one-day seminar in “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at the Methodist Church Hall.{{more}}

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a psychotherapeutic tool that will be useful for school counsellors, welfare officers and other mental health professionals.

Arriving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week, are three child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists from the prestigious Columbia University in New York City. Vanessa Toney Bobb MD/PhD, Anne Marie Albano PhD ABPP, and Schuyler W. Henderson MD/MPH will help to assess and evaluate the current child and adolescent mental health services. The goal of the visit is to raise awareness of mental health issues in youth, introduce cognitive behavioural therapy, and to suggest improvements to the current mental health practices in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dr. Amrie Morris-Patterson of the Mental Health Centre and Jasmine Francois Creese, head of school counselling, are organizing locally to ensure that the staff of the mental health clinic, school counsellors, pastoral counsellors, social workers and area doctors and nurses can receive the psychotherapy training.

Approximately 50 workshop participants are expected. The local and international organizers hope that the participants will be motivated to learn more about cognitive behavioural therapy in order to more effectively treat Vincentian youth and improve their mental health. This youth-focused cognitive behavioural therapy training program is the first of its kind in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Vanessa Toney Bobb MD/PhD is an adolescent psychiatry fellow at Columbia University. She is the daughter of Vincentians Joel Toney and Joyce Providence-Toney. Anne Marie Albano PhD, ABPP is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry and Director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Schuyler W. Henderson MD/MPH is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Suicide Risk Assessment.

The Vincentian Youth Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Training project was grant funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the United States.