Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Violence has traumatized our children – Gage-Grey

Published:Wednesday | September 18, 2019 | 12:18 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Rosalee Gage-Grey, chief executive officer of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, says that part of the country’s mental health problems stems from acts of violence and crime being perpetrated against children leaving them traumatised.

Speaking at the 53rd-anniversary meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Montego Bay, last weekend, Gage-Grey said children were being badly traumatised when they are exposed to violence in their communities and inside their homes.

“A lot of our youngsters are going through difficulties, and we expect them to do well in school and all these things, but they have issues too.”

According to Gage-Grey, the children, through their behaviour are crying out for help, noting that attention should be paid to them and their plight.

“We need to listen to them,” said Gage-Grey. “Hear them out, because sometimes they are crying for help. Sometimes, as parents, caregivers, and custodians of children, we are too busy and miss the signs that they might have.”

Last month, Omar Robinson, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, called for a collective approach through which the state and the private sector could work together to create supportive environments that embrace persons suffering from mental illness as a way of reducing cases of murder-suicide among couples.

“As family members and neighbours, we need to create more supportive environments where persons can freely share issues with trusting individuals who can provide the advice and assistance needed that could possibly prevent these horrible incidents from occurring,” said Robinson.

Depression is the leading mental health illness around the world, and, according to the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey of 2016, depression has a prevalence rate of 18.5 per cent among females and 9.9 per cent among males.