C-TECH and OECS partner to launch new mental health resource to support 5000 frontline workers
September 16, 2022

C-TECH and OECS partner to launch new mental health resource to support 5000 frontline workers

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Education Center for Health (C-TECH) have launched a new mental health resource designed to support the psychological health and wellbeing of frontline workers. The project entitled: “Support and Education for Long Life through Frontline Workers CARE Project” – SELF CARE Project for short, is an expertly curated online hub of trusted mental health resources, information and webinars available to the over 5000 frontline workers in the OECS. Frontline workers include health care workers, social workers and teachers from across the nine countries and associated member in the Eastern Caribbean. 

“Frontline workers are working tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy during this unprecedented time, and they deserve support for their mental health now more than ever” said Dr Carlene Radix, Director of the OECS Health Unit. “That’s why we decided to engage C-TECH to provide this much needed support for the committed workforce who are going above and beyond during this time. This initiative will ensure that frontline workers across the OECS have access to relevant, quality resources to support their mental health and wellbeing.” 

“C-TECH is pleased to be able to provide these resources to our health workforce in the region. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the collective mental health and wellbeing,” says Natalie Irving Mattocks, Executive Director of C-TECH. “This project will provide vitally-needed resources for frontline workers so they can easily find the mental health support they need in order to address their unique circumstances during and following the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”. 

The launch took place during the margins of the OECS-USAID-UNICEF CEO Breakfast held in Grenada on September 14, 2022.  C-TECH will provide reputable and evidence–based mental health resources designed to support workplace mental health and resilience for frontline workers responding to stressful environments. These resources include an AI-powered 24/7 mental health chat bot, 24-hour access to mental health assessments, with recommended steps to improve psychological wellbeing, monthly webinars focusing on strategies to take care of mental health and wellbeing and peer support, navigation to counseling and scheduling appointments for consultations with highly qualified therapists, as well as referral information for mental health institutions and service providers in the event of an emergency.  

C-TECH has been providing this much needed mental health services in Jamaica since the start of the pandemic and recently received funding from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, to expand and launch the existing mental health programs and services in the OECS region. 

For more information about the SELF Care Project, you can visit C-TECH’s website at ctech-caribbean.org/mental-health. 

About C-TECH 

The Caribbean Training and Education Center for Health (C-TECH) supports countries in the region in their efforts to successfully address health workforce and health system challenges. C-TECH has been implementing innovative, locally driven healthcare programmes in the Caribbean for the past 17 years, focusing on health systems strengthening, developing health workforces and strengthening the response for people with non-communicable diseases. C-TECH is an autonomous entity that is part of the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) partner network 

About the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) 

The Canada Fund Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) is a program supporting small-scale, high-impact projects in developing countries, which align with Global Affairs Canada’s thematic priority areas for engagement. The program is directed at projects conceived and designed predominantly by local partners. Projects are selected and approved by the High Commission of Canada in Jamaica. The CFLI also serves to support positive bilateral relations between Canada and recipient countries and their civil societies, by deepening contacts and supporting local endeavours. 

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Joining Forces to Tackle NCDs!

Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Training and Education Center for Health (C-TECH) team of Consultants had a fruitful meeting with Dr. Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness, on July 14, 2023. Joined by his NCD team at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, we discussed the Caribbean Development Bank funded Caribbean Moves project. This initiative aims to improve the health of the Caribbean region and combat non-communicable diseases. Stay tuned for updates on our collaborative efforts!

A stressful work environment can contribute to several health issues both mentally and physically, these may include headache, insomnia, stomach-aches, anxiety, difficulty concentrating high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. 

It is important then that we take meaningful steps to ensure that we are manging our own personal space to avoid some of these issues. Our assumption, perception and expectation affect how we react to others and life situations and ultimately how we view how jobs. When assumption, expectations and perceptions are not met, we respond through our thought’s feelings and behaviours. It is important to practice positive thinking as our thoughts affects how we feel, and our feelings affects how we behave.

Here are some tips to help you with your work environment:

  • Seek for clarity instead of trying to convince yourself of what others are thinking
  • Refrain from personalisation, not everything mentioned is a direct attack on you
  • Invest in self care
  • Set limits
  • Proper nutrition
  • Connect with people

We often here people expressing how stressed they are feeling or how over worked they are, not having enough time to do the things they like such as spending time with friend and families or even a few self-care activities. We have watch families suffer due to long working hours as well as our jobs due to loss of interest and enthusiasm resulting from burnout. 

When workers are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.

Here is how you can accomplish work life balance

At work    

  • Set manageable goals each day. 
  • Be efficient with your time at work. 
  • Take five. 
  • Communicate effectively.
  • Give yourself a break. 

         At Home

  • Don’t over commit. 
  • Get support. 
  • Stay active. 
  • Treat your body right. 
  • Get help if you need it. 

Tameca Dempster-Mattocks is an accomplished Associate Counseling Psychologist and Financial Counsellor, holding an M.Sc. Degree in Counselling and Social Work from Mico University College, along with multiple certifications in mental health from the University of Washington.

 

Currently, she holds the positions of Regional Psychologist – NERHA and Mental Health Program Coordinator at the Caribbean Training & Education Center for Health (C-TECH). Tameca has successfully managed regional mental health projects, overseeing and leading impactful initiatives that positively influence the mental well-being of individuals in the region. 

 

With a passion for community service, Tameca actively contributes to various private and charitable organizations, dedicating her time as a volunteer to support community members and at-risk youth.

Contact us for mental health support services