…Masters in Clinical Psychology introduced
The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation on Friday opened a state-of-the-art Centre for Behavioural Sciences and Research (CeBeReS) at the University of Guyana (UG), with the aim of providing medical professionals with the skills to tackle mental health.
The Foundation funded the majority of the operation to refurbish an old building within the institution’s compound and added additional space to facilitate classrooms among other amenities.
Jay Sobhraj, founder of the Foundation noted that the partnership with UG only commenced last year after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed. Thereafter, construction commenced last September. The new building features four classrooms with additional facilities.
“That building is just under 10,000 square feet. Whatever was there before, we have that plus more. We have four classrooms, clinical psychology centres, we maintained three houses of worship and the gym, the restaurant, the bookstore are still there,” he stated.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Ivelaw Griffith announced the introduction of the Masters in Clinical Psychology, which will accompany the new building. This is one of the initiatives under the Project Renaissance agenda.
“One central tenant of Project Renaissance is to build partnerships, not to rely only on Government funding; to connect with the community [and] to connect with businesses. Partnerships constitutes an important tenant of Project Renaissance,” the Vice Chancellor mentioned as he spoke about the relationship between the University and the Foundation.
Meanwhile, Junior Public Health Minister Karen Cummings stated that this Centre and the additional courses will boost the human resource capacity in Guyana to deal with mental health.
“I cannot overemphasise how timely the launching of this programme is especially in the light of the many health issues that beset Guyana. Individuals in the mental health workforce desirous of pursuing graduate level clinical psychology training will certainly from professional growth and development,” the Junior Minister explained.
She reminded that mental illnesses are treatable through the right treatment and care from medical professionals.
Dean of Health Sciences at UG, Dr Immanuel Cummings related that mental health is one of the most neglected health science areas in society and this new establishment will respond to these issues and furthermore, reduce the suicide rate in Guyana.
Over the years, the Jay and Silvia Sobhraj Foundation has provided support to other educational intuitions and the Guyana Police Force by introducing Information and Communications Technology.
Last year, some US$400,000 was handed over to the University by the Foundation to start this project but the total cost was some US$665,000.