British High Commission - Mauritius .:
Alpha Wellbeing Associates Ltd was invited to facilitate a two-day mental health awareness conference in Mauritius
The high commission brought together professionals from a wide variety of services. Almost one hundred delegates from all over the island as well as Cape Town, Rodrigues, Madagascar, and Pretoria attended. Representatives from independent schools, police, nursing tourism and voluntary organisations joined Belinda with the health minister, ombudsman for children and members of the team from the British consulate.
The Child Development Unit staff that was present was very enthusiastic to share ideas and keen to work closely with the different stakeholders, in the future. They explained clearly their role and how they can help with the different cases. Staff from the private schools talked of problems encountered with the children and the psychiatrists and psychologists present were of great help in providing ways of dealing with the children who encounter mental health issues. As it was a multi professional approach, it was a good way to network and build contact and capacity for all, that would help in the future to deal with cases. Whilst the workshop focussed mainly on children’s mental health, staff wellbeing, which is an important aspect if you are called to deal with children with mental health issues, was also included in the programme.
Below Extract from Consulate Regional Director, Daniel Sheherd’s newsletter to consular staff
“I was pleased to be able to attend the workshop on Mental Health and Children in Mauritius, which was superbly organised by Lina Assy and her colleagues in Port Louis, with our mental health champion Anthea Mason attending from Cape Town and Weil Rodelys coming over from Antananarivo. I met a diverse sample of Lina’s network, which brought home to me the importance of a whole range of partners –everyone from school counsellors to police to hotel management – in delivering our consular goals. And I was also pleased to hear that Lina used the stakeholder-mapping techniques learnt at in last month’s Dar workshop to broaden her audience to other key stakeholders. The content was not just relevant to how we handle cases with mental health dimensions, but how we look after our own staff wellbeing. I’ll certainly look at some of the material from that workshop when we get the results of the wellbeing survey one year on from the last one – these are expected soon”.
Claudia Garland Deputy High Commissioner commented on the great feedback received, some of which is included below. She also would like once again Belinda to thank you for having delivered such a wonderful workshop that seem to have impacted on all.
All have commented how enthusiastic and knowledgeable Belinda is of the subject. I must say that many of the participants have phoned also during the course of last month to say how grateful they are to have been invited to the workshop that they found most informative. The knowledge gained will no doubt help them carry out their job better
On our part at Northfields School, the workshop was very useful and I am using some of Belinda’s techniques and messages with the students. We are planning to include information on positive mental health as part of our well- being and student welfare program
SCHOOL NURSE RN RM RHV BSc (HONS)
Thank you so much for inviting us to the conference at Ebene. Both teachers who went, Miss Graham and Mrs Duchenne, were highly impressed by the course and have come to school today with lots to share. They found the speaker inspiring, refreshing and most approachable. I do wish I had had the time to come but am glad that our teachers went; they will be passing their knowledge onto the rest of us.
I Mr Yuvraj Purusram wanted to convey my good appreciation for the conference that you hosted at the BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION OF MAURITIUS, on February 22 and 23 2017.
You were simply awesome and I am very proud to be a Nurse like you.
Yes the purpose was fully achieved. The facilitator was brilliant. She was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, to the point and had a lot of visual support (short videos) for better understanding of the subject. There was a good exchange of ideas and discussions. We were pleased to learn during the workshop that the psychiatric hospital now has an adolescent ward although a young children’s ward is still not available and staff from the Mental hospital felt this was now necessary due to the increase of cases.
One particular highlight of the conference was an impromptu session of “Wake and Shake” Belinda dedicated this to her dear friend Angela James who sadly died in January following a very short illness with pancreatic cancer. Angela was passionate about active lifestyles and together she and Belinda delivered numerous health and wellbeing sessions. Everyone joined in and the room was energized following a very sumptuous lunch.