Improving Community
mental health 

because no one should suffer
in silence; especially children
 

improving community mental health

because no one should suffer in silence; especially children

Creating Supportive communities   

to prevent child abuse and neglect   

It Takes A village

According to the often quoted African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child,” It also takes a village or, in contemporary society, a community to support parents to raise their children. It is of utmost importance that supportive communities are created for communities to be most successful in the process of developing and strengthening compensatory or protective factors rather than directly addressing those community-level factors that increase child maltreatment risk.

Creating Supportive communities

to prevent child abuse and neglect   

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

According to the often quoted African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child,” It also takes a village or, in contemporary society, a community to support parents to raise their children. It is of utmost importance that supportive communities are created for communities to be most successful in the process of developing and strengthening compensatory or protective factors rather than directly addressing those community-level factors that increase child maltreatment risk.

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Beyond the Walls

Providing Caribbean children with community-based mental health support means moving beyond the walls of medicalized clinics and entering into community settings where emotional and other kinds of support services can be readily accessed. This concept is of paramount importance because we understand the profound interdependence of individual and community well-being, while recognizing that the health of the individual highly depends on the health of the community and vice versa.

Beyond the walls

Providing Caribbean children with community-based mental health support means moving beyond the walls of medicalized clinics and entering into community settings where emotional and other kinds of support services can be readily accessed. This concept is of paramount importance because we understand the profound interdependence of individual and community well-being, while recognizing that the health of the individual highly depends on the health of the community and vice versa.

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HEALING COMMUNITIES

Multi-relational bonds in community happen in sanctuaries, multifamily groups, supportive alliances and partnerships. Through these community connections, friendship can flourish, and mentors and advocates can provide guidance. Relationships with others support social learning through reciprocity and learned helpfulness because people contribute to communities while being recipients of all that a community can provide. Participating in community reinforces belonging and identity, with shared goals, hopes and creative solutions. This type of belonging mitigates against social and physical isolation, which are known to contribute to depression, neglect and alienation. In a community, we experience compassion, being with others through their struggles, sharing a common humanity, finding our moral compass, and celebrating the meaning of brotherhood and sisterhood.

HEALING COMMUNTIES

Multi-relational bonds in community happen in sanctuaries, multifamily groups, supportive alliances and partnerships. Through these community connections, friendship can flourish, and mentors and advocates can provide guidance. Relationships with others support social learning through reciprocity and learned helpfulness because people contribute to communities while being recipients of all that a community can provide. Participating in community reinforces belonging and identity, with shared goals, hopes and creative solutions. This type of belonging mitigates against social and physical isolation, which are known to contribute to depression, neglect and alienation. In a community, we experience compassion, being with others through their struggles, sharing a common humanity, finding our moral compass, and celebrating the meaning of brotherhood and sisterhood.

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Ecosystems Approach

Using an ecosystems approach, we focus on community-based clinical work that relies on a systemic, contextual, and transactional focus for defining problems and solutions, rather than on interventions that focus on internal psychology and personality change. This approach takes into account the risk and protective factors in the individual, the family, the culture, and the community.

Ecosystems Approach

Using an ecosystems approach, we focus on community-based clinical work that relies on a systemic, contextual, and transactional focus for defining problems and solutions, rather than on interventions that focus on internal psychology and personality change. This approach takes into account the risk and protective factors in the individual, the family, the culture, and the community.

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Cultural sensitivity

In order to provide support to Caribbean communities, we help children deal with feelings such as mourning, loss, anger, etc., by integrating indirect and action-focused approaches. We provide children with integrated models of care that combine services for skills development and counseling. Mastery of social knowledge and skills help children and youth gain a sense of control over their life, raises their self-confidence, and empowers them. By creating capacity-building programs with content that focuses on providing “care,” we address children’s development issues with therapeutic effects without the intervention being defined as “therapy.”

Cultural sensitivity

In order to provide support to Caribbean communities, we help children deal with feelings such as mourning, loss, anger, etc., by integrating indirect and action-focused approaches. We provide children with integrated models of care that combine services for skills development and counseling. Mastery of social knowledge and skills help children and youth gain a sense of control over their life, raises their self-confidence, and empowers them. By creating capacity-building programs with content that focuses on providing “care,” we address children’s development issues with therapeutic effects without the intervention being defined as “therapy.”

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Mental Health Education

IT is okay to grieve

From an early age, many children are taught to hide their feelings. When they experience loss or disappointment, some are told not to cry, to keep difficult emotions to themselves, or to just be strong and “move on.” One of the most effective ways to help emotionally injured children, however, is to teach them how to talk about their feelings and how to grieve. Children do not need to analyze the concept of grief; instead they need to be allowed the space and time to process their feelings. They need a supportive environment and permission to cry, talk, be angry, and express their emotions. There is no timeline for the completion of grief; it is finished when it’s finished.

It is okay to grieve

From an early age, many children are taught to hide their feelings. When they experience loss or disappointment, some are told not to cry, to keep difficult emotions to themselves, or to just be strong and “move on.” One of the most effective ways to help emotionally injured children, however, is to teach them how to talk about their feelings and how to grieve. Children do not need to analyze the concept of grief; instead they need to be allowed the space and time to process their feelings. They need a supportive environment and permission to cry, talk, be angry, and express their emotions. There is no timeline for the completion of grief; it is finished when it’s finished.

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“community and individual or family resilience are inextricably bound together” Saleebey

“community and individual or family resilience are inextricably bound together” Saleebey