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Ministry exploring deployment of mental health experts in troubled communities

Published:Monday | June 24, 2013 | 9:15 AM

The National Security Ministry is exploring the deployment of mental health experts in communities to help stem violent behaviour and criminal activities.

National security minister Peter Bunting says studies have shown that there is direct link between high levels of crime and the deterioration of mental health services in Jamaica.

According to Bunting, his ministry is in dialogue with Professor Frederick Hickling from Psychological Services Associates, who has done research in the area.

The national security minister says he has received a proposal for an intervention programme from Professor Hickling which is being evaluated.

The national security minister said under the proposed programme, trained professionals who can easily identify signs of mental illness or psychological dysfunction will be deployed to each constituency.

He added that these persons will offer appropriate care or referral to the relevant agency before the issues escalate into violence.


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