Haven clients receive interim treatment

| 29/06/2010

(CNS): Repairs at the Caribbean Haven Women’s Centre following a fire in one of the bedrooms on 2 May are expected to be completed in early August. According to Judith Seymour, director of the Department of Counselling Services, women in the community needing help with their fight against substance abuse are, in the meantime, accessing treatment services, including individual and group therapy as deemed appropriate, at The Counselling Centre until such time as the Women’s Centre can be re-opened. The contract for the repairs is expected to be awarded on 7 July, Seymour stated.

The 12-bed centre, which opened in June 2009, is located on the same property as the men’s unit in Breakers but in a separate building.

The four female clients who wereat the residence at the time of the fire were immediately moved to the Men’s Centre on the night of the fire, Seymour said. One resident left the programme the following day, and two women remained in the temporary accommodation at the Men’s Centre until 13 May, when they chose to return to the community. The fourth client remained in the Men’s Centre until she successfully completed the programme and transitioned into community housing on 11 June, the director said, noting that all four women have engaged with counsellors at The Counselling Centre, where they receive counselling on an outpatient basis according to their perceived need.

“In the immediate period following the fire, the department attempted to re-organise the clients within the Men’s Centre to facilitate having both males and females in treatment there. Unfortunately, that situation created numerous issues that became the primary focus in the treatment community rather than treatment (as was our experience prior, which had driven the development of gender specific programmes),” Seymour explained.

“As addicts and alcoholics have very poor boundaries and many of them are developmentally delayed due to their extensive substance abuse, co-habitation for the men and women was clearly counterproductive to the treatment process and it became a disservice to all our clients in residence. As such, the existing female residents were transitioned into the community and the interim provisions for their treatment are limited currently to the services offered at The Counselling Centre.”

She said the cause of the fire was still under investigation but electrical and mechanical failures have been ruled out. Most of the fire damage was confined to one bedroom and its contents, but smoke also got into the air conditioning system for the building. Remedial works were conducted immediately to mitigate against water damage and an assessment was conducted by the Public Works Department on 6 May to determine what repairs were necessary. This is now being put to tender and the contract is expected to be awarded by 7 July. Completion of repairs is expected by early August, according to Seymour.

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  1. Beachboi says:

    This in an incredible setback to such a vital program.  It is so very unfortunate that it has taken so long to award the contract for the repairs.  I just hope that it is awarded by July 7th (of this year)!!