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JCF MEDICAL UNIT GETS NHF GRANT FOR TELEPHONE HELPLINE SERVICE

JCF MEDICAL UNIT GETS NHF GRANT FOR TELEPHONE HELPLINE SERVICE

The Medical Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has received a grant valued at $3.2 million, from the National Health Fund (NHF) to assist with the implementation of a 24-hour helpline service for employees of the JCF (civilian and police) and their families.

Law enforcement officers in Jamaica perform one of the most highly stressed jobs and the The 24-hour telephone helpline service is aimed at meeting the mental health care needs of officers and their families. It will offer education, assessment, counselling and referral services and it is staffed by police personnel who have been trained as helpline counsellors.

According to Dr. George Leveridge, Head of the Medical Unit and a Consultant Psychiatrist for the JCF, ?The move to implement a 24-hour telephone helpline will only provide positive results. Worldwide law enforcement officers tend to shun mental health services. It will help officers to cope with emotional challenges, while their personal and sensitive issues will remain anonymous and thereby encourage them to access these services.?

The grant from the National Health Fund has been used to assist in training of counselors, acquire computers, furniture for the centre and the installation of a PBX System and toll-free lines for the first year of operation.

The NHF finances projects for the deliver of improved healthcare, including mental health care and in addition to this helpline service has also supported a programme for the promotion of mental health and reduction of stigma associated with mental disorders. Since the beginning of the year the National Health Fund has approved ten (10) healthcare delivery projects for various institutions valued at $471 million.

Contact: Rosemarie Lee, Public Information Officer NHF, Tel: 906-1106

Shermaine Robotham, 997-5442

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