By: Chaïra Flanders
Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 9, 2020 (ZIZ News): The St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society will be offering Psychosocial support (PS) to all citizens of the twin island federation during Coronavirus Pandemic.
This was announced by Director General of the St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society Hester Rawlins who was at the time delivering remarks at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) briefing at NEMA on Thursday April 9.
He said this initiative follows several discussions held between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Mr. Rawlins said Psychosocial support is an integral part of emergency response and explained how beneficial it can be for our people.
He said, “It helps individuals and communities to heal the psychological wounds and rebuild social structures after an emergency or a critical event. It can help change people into active survivors rather than passive victims. Early and adequate psychosocial support can prevent distress and suffering from developing into something more severe, help people cope better and become reconciled to everyday life, help beneficiaries to resume their normal lives and meet community-identified needs”
The Director General also revealed that a telephone hotline will be operational as of April 10 to provide the Psychosocial support to all.
“The service delivery of this type of support will be done via telephone hotline. The National Society has secured 10 cellular phone numbers; 6 of which in the first instance have been assigned to trained Psychosocial support specialists (PSS) located on St. Kitts as well as on Nevis”, Rawlins explained.
He said the Psychosocial Support Specialist (PSS) will be available from 7am-10pm daily via WhatsApp Messenger or direct call.
He reminded that Psychosocial Support is not counselling and advised that persons may be transferred to the most suitable entity depending on their needs.
Rawlins informed that the PSS personnel are mandated to comply with specific Codes of Operation which include, “Confidentiality, Fact presenting, Follow, Maintenance of the call log, Referral of cases where necessary and Avoidance of false hope”
He then encouraged all citizens and residents to take advantage of this initiative in an effort to maintain one’s psychological wellness.
PSS personnel in St. Kitts will be available to serve from 9am-3pm via 661-2603, 11am-3pm via 661-2852 and from 2-8pm via 664-3614.
Meanwhile, PSS personnel in Nevis can be contacted from 9am-4pm via 663-7879 then from 2-6pm via 664-4119 and from 7-10pm on 660-0901.