Counsellors see increase in traumatised patients

| 29/05/2023 | 5 Comments

(CNS): More and more clients are now presenting to the Department of Counselling Services (DCS) with complex and varied problems that they have endured over a long period of time as a result of multiple traumatic events in their lives. This week’s edition of the health ministry’s Spotlight looks closely at mental health, and Jason Dunkley, clinical supervisor at The Counselling Centre (TCC), a unit of the DCS, described the changes he has seen.

In the online public health magazine, Dunkley said that in the past, the TCC has dealt with people mainly suffering from substance and alcohol addiction. But over the last 18 months, they have witnessed a shift in the type and severity of mental health issues being experienced by the people of the Cayman Islands. Substance misuse is no longer the primary clinical issue, though it continues to be a significant part of the work.

“This shift in our trends may not be because the severity of the problem in the community has decreased, but more likely that the general public are [sic] now more open to the idea that therapy is not just for addicts,” he wrote. “This means that more people who may not have considered accessing treatment in the past are now doing so.”

The trauma of domestic violence is nothing new for the centre’s clients, but Dunkley said that they are now seeing a small increase in the number of men disclosing that they have been victims. Clients from the LGBTQA+ community with sexuality and gender identification issues are also presenting more often seeking help to process internal and interpersonal challenges.

“Where more individuals now feel empowered to live life more congruently, the lack of acceptance from society, and family at times, has an impact on mental health,” Dunkley noted. Couples are also seeking services to manage polyamorous or open relationships, he said.

Anxiety in adults is also a growing problem. While adolescent anxiety has been a common issue, Dunkley described a”sharp increase” in adults presenting with anxiety disorders. “This primarily manifests itself as social isolation, challenges in the workplace, and insecurity in romantic relationships,” he added.

With a team of eleven qualified professionals, TCC offers a variety of services, from couple’s therapy to trauma-informed yoga groups. The centre also runs an anxiety and depression support programme and a weekly anxiety and depression support group.

This month’s Spotlight also reveals the latest information on COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, including the end of the monkeypox health emergency after the sustained decline in cases around the world.

To contact the Counselling Centre, visit the website here.

See the full edition below:

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Category: Health, Mental Health

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I know persons who attended councelling services as govt emoloyee’ helps a lot…but we have ask ourselves as caymanians…what are we as a ppl getting out of all this over past few years???

    • StopTheCrime says:

      Mental health affects all other aspects of your life and society itself. A dollar spent on mental health is worth $10 (or more) in productivity and propserity.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My counselors Jim Bean, Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels deal with most of my problems, no appointment required.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can the article be updated with information on how residents can access these services please.

    CNS: I’ve updated, but the contact details are here – scroll to the bottom of the page for phone number and email.

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