Wed | Jan 16, 2019

On the Corner with EPOC | Angry youth - Nannyville resident wants Gov't to check mental health of the unattached

Published:Monday | May 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer


The Government is pumping millions of dollars into programmes to educate, equip, and empower unattached youth, but one resident of Nannyville Gardens believes that might just be flushing money down the drain.

Fennela Haye is convinced that the Government should first fund programmes to assess the mental health of these unattached youth before embarking on any scheme to make them productive.

Participating in the latest Gleaner On the Corner with the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) last Monday, the 27-year-old Haye argued that any intervention is doomed to fail if there is no mental intervention.

"I'm a part of a community youth programme. I do a lot of voluntary work, and a lot of the unattached youth that I come across are just angry for no obvious reason," declared Haye.

"The Government needs to tackle that and not focus so much on creating all these programmes to get them qualified and getting them trained so they can get jobs because they may carry that same violence in the workplace.

"Additionally, a lot of these work and skills-training programmes are usually attended and completed by persons who already have some level of qualification, so investing in so many of them doesn't make a lot of sense. They need to invest in their mental health," Haye stressed.

The born and raised resident of the sometimes volatile southeast St Andrew community argued that the aggressive behaviour displayed by some of the unattached youth could stem from consistent abuse while they were growing up.

She added that this abuse could have led to their confidence being severely eroded, causing them to shy away from further development.

"Many of them grew up in homes where they experienced mental, physical, and even sexual abuse on a daily basis, and that has an impact on the adult men and women we're seeing today.

"The solution is just like what you guys (Gleaner and EPOC) are doing, coming into the communities and trying to develop a relationship with the residents. They should send the psychologists and counsellors into the communities to do the same and get answers, address the root causes, or nothing else will work," argued Haye.

EPOC's Co-Chairman Keith Duncan agreed with Haye that persons could have been negatively affected by their family and broader socio-economic environment.

"People have been impacted, mentally. They're just coming from a deficit, so we need to find how to move them to a place where they become productive and feel confident in themselves to go out there and get a work and feel like they can contribute," said Duncan.