Several graduate from violence prevention program
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
by Glen Simon, Ministry of Health

The Substance Abuse Advisory Secretariat recently hosted a graduation ceremony for 33 graduates of a new certification program dubbed PROCCER.

PROCCER is a Spanish acronym that stands for the Caribbean Training and Certification Program for Drug and Violence Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation.

The high level certification program, endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, helps combat the impact of drugs and violence by furnishing participants with the tools and techniques to help prevent, treat, and rehabilitate persons affected by drugs and violence.

Deputy Coordinator of the Substance Abuse Advisory Secretariat, Joanna Joseph explained the benefits of the program.

“This is capacity-building training to improve the competencies of persons who already work in the areas pertaining to drug prevention, violence prevention, and drug rehabilitation and treatment,” she said. "We can understand that those who work with such agencies have to work daily with persons who are affected by drugs and violence, and we really wanted to be able to improve the capacity of the persons who work in these areas.”

The participants came from a cross section of agencies including the ministries of Health and Education, the departments of Probation and Parole, Human Services, school counselors, the Bordelais Correctional Facility, and treatment and wellness centres.

Ms. Joseph expressed pleasure with the performance of the graduates many of whom received very high grades.

"The University of the West Indies was the certifying agency and also supervised, invigilated, and produced the materials for the program, so it is of very high quality. The certification also is a prestigious one."

Tessa John-Guerra was the top performer for the PROCCER Treatment and Rehabilitation Certification, while Gillian John-Khodra was the top achiever for the PROCCER Prevention Certification.

Guerra said: “We all worked hard in the treatment training and the information is really invaluable for us especially in our different professions. So we can now go out there and apply the knowledge that we learned to our situations, wherever we are."

Khodra said: “What we learned through the prevention track really enabled us to be able to go out there and implement solid prevention programs in our various communities, or for me in particular, in my school community where I am realizing that substance use and misuse is becoming predominate among teenagers. The information I gathered and the skills I learned will really enable me to impact that particular population."

Organizers are hopeful that the program will be re-offered in the near future.

The intensive four-month long program was sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS), via the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). The graduation ceremony was held on Dec. 14.