Sixteen professionals recently participated in the Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS) and United States Embassy First Cohort of ECHO Training Bahamas ICCE for Substance Use Disorders Closing Ceremony in the foyer of the Rand Memorial Hospital on Friday, September 22.
Michelle Lundy, GBHS Clinical Psychologist and Colombo Plan Internationally Certified Addiction Professional coordinated the ceremony and provided in depth insight on the Colombo Plan Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use Disorders.
According to Lundy, “In 2014, then, Sandilands Hospital Administrator Sharon Williams along with the Ministry of Health, the United States of America Embassy, the Colombo Plan ICCE Credential Programme got together and decided that in order for us to combat the drug problem, which is a global one, that The Bahamas has also been affected by, we needed to have a cadre of internationally trained addiction professionals.
“These professionals would, based on their training, be able to treat and educate other addiction professionals, which would then provide a substantive way to treat, counsel and handle persons affected with substance use disorders or experiencing addiction problems.
“The idea involved a program that speaks to evidence-based, continuity of services so that no one would fall through the gaps; 20 professionals were trained and earned the distinction of becoming master trainers and it is incumbent upon them to get everybody involved in substance abuse/addiction training, so that we can have better outcomes when it comes to handling those with substance abuse.
“Today we are conducting an ECHO Training here in Grand Bahama, which comprises individuals from various disciplines inclusive of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Department of Social Services, GBHS Nursing Unit, Ministry of Education, uniformed and non-uniformed youth organizations as well as others who may come into contact with people who are dealing with substance use disorders and abuse.”
The training started in July 2017 and involves nine curriculum training disciplines that expressly deals with Substance Use Disorders such as; the History of Substance Use, Psycho-active Drugs, Physiology of Substance Use, Disorders and Addiction, Substance Use Disorder/Brain Disease as well as Case Management, Treatment, Interviewing Skills, Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change and a gamut of other pertinent topics, revealed Lundy.
The Colombo Plan International Center for Certification and Education (ICCE) Programme provides intensive and comprehensive Substance Use Disorders Training and at the end of it all, according to Lundy, “We will have our very own group of individuals, who will be able to network and present better treatment outcomes and will be able to make a dent in the scourge we have been experiencing in the community, as it relates to substance abuse disorders.
“The GBHS Colombo Training Participants First Cohort of ECHO Training Bahamas includes Dillette Thompson, Keira Cox, Fran Brice, Rochelle Minnis, Kendal Davis RBPF ASP Michael Thurston, RBPF Sgt. Edderson McSweeney, RBPF Sgt. Clydeisha Charlton, Valerie Bain, Andy Laing, Wynelle Goodridge, Tiffany Potts-Johnson, Erma McPhee, Barry Rolle, Julian Demeritte and Dudley Seide and congratulations are extended to them all as well as trainers Brenda Smith, Shaniqua Smith, Paulette Bowe, Betty Frazier and Kayla Swain.”
Looking forward to the best, Lundy noted that the closing ceremony is just the start to a new beginning in treating, educating, counseling and handling the complexities of substance use disorders and addiction abuse in and out of the Grand Bahama community.