The YouthRise Project in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation in collaboration with Galen University have trained some 100 social workers, educators, counsellors, administrators and youth workers in suicide prevention.
The training took place between May 24th and June 1st in Belize, Cayo, and Stann Creek Districts. The training was facilitated by Dr. Guy Ilagan, Assistant Professor of Counsellor Education at The Citadel College in Charleston, South Carolina; Dr. Jill Ilagan, Clinical Psychologist and Adjunct Professor at The Citadel’s Psychology – Clinical Counselling Program; and Kendra Hoyt, Lecturer and Life Coach at Galen University.
The two-day workshops were separated into intermediate sessions for those who took the training in 2017 and basic sessions for newcomers. They were held as follows:
• May 24-25 at Galen University, 35 persons trained in intermediate suicide prevention.
• May 28-29 at BIM in Belize City, 45 persons trained in basic suicide prevention.
• May 31-June 1 at Sacred Heart College in Dangriga Town, 20 persons trained in intermediate suicide prevention.
The workshops equipped the participants in conducting--and practicing--suicide assessments, responding to and monitoring youths at risk of suicide, including intervention skills such as safety planning and crisis response planning. A key feature of the workshops was the demonstrations of risk assessment and planning by the facilitators, allowing for the participants to learn valuable “interviewing skills” from professional counsellors.
The training was carried out under the Enhancement of Therapeutic Responses component of the YouthRise Project which seeks to strengthen the delivery of care and support to families and children who have interfaced with the child protection system due to child abuse and neglect. The training also served to build the capacity of service providers and substitute care providers in the country.