February 13, 2014

​Jamaica: Adventists Join Fight to End Mental Illness Stigma

North Jamaica Conference of
Seventh-day Adventists has joined the fight to reduce the stigma against
children with mental-health issues after receiving a check in the amount of
J$150,000 (US$1,420) on February 3.

The check was presented by the RBC Royal Bank through its
Children's Mental Health Project (CMHP).

Early intervention

This year, CMHP selected the North
Jamaica Conference Children's Ministries Department, along with two other
charitable organizations.

Together, these groups will provide early interventions and increase awareness
of mental illness.

"Our commitment to children's
mental health is grounded in the fact that mental disorders begin in childhood
or adolescence, and if the signs are recognized and appropriate interventions
are taken, children can go on to lead normal and productive lives," said
Barrington Watson, marketing head for RBC, in a news release last year.

"We are proud to once again
offer support to organizations that continue their earnest and valiant fight to
protect and strengthen Jamaica's children through their work in this
area," Watson said.

Mrs. Rachel Pyne, Children's Ministries Director for North Jamaica Conference, thanks Mr. Richard Benjamin, branch manager for RBC Royal Bank, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica for the award of $150,000 toward the RBC Children's Mental Health Project.Focus on youth

The program will focus on children and youth up to 18
years of age. Participating organizations will provide services and support to
at-risk youth, parents, and caregivers; provide public outreach and education,
and offer solutions and practices that can be reused and taught elsewhere.

Richard Benjamin, branch manager from
the RBC Royal Bank in Ocho Rios, St Ann, who presented the check to Rachel Pyne,
director for the Children's Ministries department of NJC, was assured that the
money would be put to its correct use.

"I can assure you, sir, that the
funds received today will certainly go towards the project of training our Children's
Ministries coordinators,” said Pyne. "Our teachers, counselors and 300
children within the [target| communities and churches will benefit from the
workshops which will sensitize and bring greater awareness of what mental
health is."

She continued, "We are
partnering with you as we dedicate ourselves to providing early intervention,
and increased public awareness to reduce the stigma of mental illness in these
two parishes."

The RBC Royal Bank in Jamaica launched the Children's
Mental Health Project in 2012 as part of the bank's ongoing commitment to
health and wellness. This is the first time the Adventist Church in North
Jamaica has received the grant.