First Look

Flow boost for community mental  health programme in Western Jamaica

Breakthrough Communications | 2012-08-21 10:07:00

The community mental health programme in Western Jamaica will get a further boost from the 2012 CUMI Come Run, the annual fund raising event staged by the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI) with the support of title sponsor Flow.   The broadband service provider has announced that for the 3rd year it will commit  over $1M in cash and services towards the event to be held on September 22nd.
“In an environment with no post-hospital care facility, CUMI plays a vital role in assisting with the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients. Following their discharge from hospital, CUMI provides a place to go during the day where patients can receive their medications and benefit from the occupational therapy programme,” said Dr. Janice Clarke, Senior Resident in the Department of Psychiatry at Cornwall Regional Hospital.  “Many patients do not have the social support to allow for continuation of their treatment. CUMI has a successful record of finding jobs and homes for patients that have been referred there for post-hospital care.”
 CUMI was started in 1991 when a group of concerned citizens recognized the need for services to provide assistance to homeless mentally ill persons in the community and enhance the delivery of mental health services in St. James. The team, including then mayor Arthur Gilchrist,  Elizabeth Hall and Joy Crooks, recognized that without provision for rehabilitative services as a follow-up to intervention and stabilization in a hospital setting, the benefits of initial care would be quickly lost with the client relapsing and reverting back to the habits of street life.
Today, CUMI provides a day time base for an average of 25 patients a day who have been referred after their discharge from hospital. The team at CUMI work with the Mental Health Officers in the region to ensure that the discharged patients, many of whom do not have the capacity to manage their medication, are able to continue their treatment plan as directed by the doctor.
The CUMI Come Run is the primary fund raising activity for the non-governmental organization that plays this critical role in the programme of care for mentally ill patients in St. James. “This is the major fund raising activity that provides the backbone for the sustainability of CUMI and Flow’s contribution goes a far way in assuring that we can continue with our work,”  said Joy Crooks, who continues to serve as Nurse Administrator for CUMI.
“Our involvement with CUMI Come Run arises out of our commitment to partner in communities we serve to provide meaningful support and assistance as stakeholders tackle issues affecting them," said Denise Williams, director of corporate and government affairs at Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, operators of the Flow brand, explaining the importance of the partnership with CUMI.   
In addition to its financial input, Flow’s support includes leveraging its technology to help increase awareness of the work of CUMI.  Most recently, Flow’s association with One Caribbean Weather as a distributor of that channel in Jamaica, led to the broadcast of a feature about the work of CUMI which was seen by viewers across the region. “At Columbus we are guided by a philosophy that we must provide the technology that enables people to transform their lives. CUMI and Flow shares a common point of view in this regard as their work is also about transforming lives  so that the homeless mentally ill can become productive members of our society,” Williams said.
 Flow has an established history of working with public and private sector partners on initiatives to benefit the underserved and vulnerable in society, and of leveraging its broadband technology to enable community development. The lives of thousands of Jamaicans have been positively impacted by the company’s work with programmes such as Teen Challenge, the Jamaica Red Cross, Food for the Poor and the SOS children’s Village.

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