Adventist News

​Jamaica: Adventists Join Fight to End Mental Illness Stigma

North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has joined the fight to reduce the stigma against children with mental-health issues after receiving a check in the amount of J$150,000 (US$1,420) on February 3.

The check was presented by the RBC Royal Bank through its Children's Mental Health Project (CMHP).

Early intervention

This year, CMHP selected the North Jamaica Conference Children's Ministries Department, along with two other charitable organizations.

Together, these groups will provide early interventions and increase awareness of mental illness.

"Our commitment to children's mental health is grounded in the fact that mental disorders begin in childhood or adolescence, and if the signs are recognized and appropriate interventions are taken, children can go on to lead normal and productive lives," said Barrington Watson, marketing head for RBC, in a news release last year.

"We are proud to once again offer support to organizations that continue their earnest and valiant fight to protect and strengthen Jamaica's children through their work in this area," Watson said.

Mrs. Rachel Pyne, Children's Ministries Director for North Jamaica Conference, thanks Mr. Richard Benjamin, branch manager for RBC Royal Bank, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica for the award of $150,000 toward the RBC Children's Mental Health Project.Focus on youth

The program will focus on children and youth up to 18 years of age. Participating organizations will provide services and support to at-risk youth, parents, and caregivers; provide public outreach and education, and offer solutions and practices that can be reused and taught elsewhere.

Richard Benjamin, branch manager from the RBC Royal Bank in Ocho Rios, St Ann, who presented the check to Rachel Pyne, director for the Children's Ministries department of NJC, was assured that the money would be put to its correct use.

"I can assure you, sir, that the funds received today will certainly go towards the project of training our Children's Ministries coordinators,” said Pyne. "Our teachers, counselors and 300 children within the [target| communities and churches will benefit from the workshops which will sensitize and bring greater awareness of what mental health is."

She continued, "We are partnering with you as we dedicate ourselves to providing early intervention, and increased public awareness to reduce the stigma of mental illness in these two parishes."

The RBC Royal Bank in Jamaica launched the Children's Mental Health Project in 2012 as part of the bank's ongoing commitment to health and wellness. This is the first time the Adventist Church in North Jamaica has received the grant.

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