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New Rehab Centre opens

New Rehab Centre opens

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St Vincent and the Grenadines now has its first ever drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.{{more}}

Located at Belair, the “God’s Eternal Mercy Rehabilitation Centre” (GEMRC) was officially opened on August 15.

The centre is the brainchild of founder Cornelia Lee-Layne, the wife of this country’s former Ambassador to the United States, Kingsley Layne.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lee-Layne said the GEMRC, which is a non-profit international organization, provides a temporary home to enhance the lives of male and female drug and alcohol abusers here.

She explained that every client who enters the facility will be educated about the danger of drugs and alcohol, transformed spiritually, mentally, emotionally and psychologically.

They also will be provided with “a safe and Godly environment by offering counseling and drug programmes to help clients say no to drugs and yes to abundant and purposeful life,” Lee-Layne said.

According to the founder, the idea to establish the centre came about in a vision from God.

“It was something that the Lord wanted me to do and for six years I tried to get away from it, because I realize that it was a lot of work and it required a lot of capital to do it. So I kept saying that I couldn’t do it.

“But after a time, God showed me the way. There were no drug rehab facilities in SVG to help these people. Now there is!”

The centre will be run by a Board of Directors comprised of Lee-Layne as executive director, Pastor Douglas Neverson of the Evangelical Church, and Lennox Daisley.

Stanice Anderson is the programme director and Doris McIntosh serves as secretary to the Board.

Clients will to undergo a three-month stint of treatment at the centre. The executive director explained that during the first two weeks, no client will be allowed contact with persons from the outside world.

“This is necessary in the first phase to make rehabilitation successful.

“After this period, visitors will be allowed, but they will be confined to the reception area and will not have permission to go to the clients’ rooms,” she added.

The centre has been described by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Luis DeShong as “a very important facility in the development of our nation.”

“The Ministry is deeply indebted to the centre for its establishment,” he said.

Dr Karen Providence of the Mental Health Centre also gave short remarks. Providence spoke of the overwhelming numbers of Vincentians requiring treatment for substance abuse.

“About 40 per cent of male admission to the Mental Health Centre is from substance abuse,” Dr Providence stated.

To date, eight persons have already registered for admission to the God’s Eternal Mercy Rehabilitation Centre, according to Lee-Layne.

The centre is expected to be fully operational by September 1 and will cater for up to 16 clients. (AA)

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