Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 22, 2021 (SKNIS): Michele de la Coudray-Blake, Director of the Counselling Department in St. Kitts, said that the institution offers a wide range of services for the general public.
During the September 22 edition of Working for You, Director de la Coudray-Blake said that the department is engaged in a lot of things. However, before touching on the services, she spoke briefly to the shift in concepts as to what mental health really is.
“The fact is there has been a shift around how people see counselling and mental health services and that shift has come…because one, I think there is an appreciation of the fact that mental health services isn’t speaking mental illness, it’s speaking about mental health, mental health services,” said Mrs.de la Coudray Blake. “And so, what is happening is that there is a streamlining of mental health services in just about everything because it needs to happen. So, because of that, we at the counselling centre find that our own services are being utilized just in a very broad way, the broader way actually.”
She noted that of all the services offered, the primary focus is clinical counselling intervention.
“Clinical counselling involves interacting with people who need a particular service from particular training. So, there must be training that supports the ability to help people resolve issues on a particular level,” said Mrs. de la Coudray-Blake.
The director noted that the department also offers workshop development and presentations. She noted that oftentimes the department is called in “because the recognition that information, awareness and knowledge help to bridge gaps and so institutions and organizations are always asking us about workshop development and presentations and so forth.”
Also important is the Employer Assistance Programme (EAP), a service offered to the government.
“Basically, what that says is if there is a situation where somebody is having difficulties for whatever reason, it affects their work. And as responsible employers, it is important for you to be able to provide assistance in some way. And so, the government service definitely uses us for helping government workers through difficult situations,” said the director.
Other services include clinical assessments which Mrs. de la Coudray Blake said is often needed in the court. These, she said, are used “to be able to give a clinical picture of an individual in a particular situation.” The department is also involved in crisis management and response, crisis management as it relates to natural disasters, as well as trauma; limited online and virtual counselling; psychoeducational sessions, as well as family matters services.