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JAMAICA: 23 Graduate from HEART-SDC offered course



#Kingston, July 23, 2021 – Twenty-three students have successfully completed the inaugural Events Planning and Management Level 3 Supervisory Course offered by the HEART/NSTA Trust and graduated with their skills certificates on Thursday (July 22).

The Level 3 Supervisory Course was offered out of a partnership between the HEART College of Hospitality Services (HCHS) and the Social Development Commission (SDC), to persons who had prior but limited event planning experience.

Under the partnership, the SDC provided an off-campus location for instruction while the HCHS implemented the course. Both entities jointly monitored the deliverables, guided by a Memorandum of Understanding.

“This programme today is by no means, an end to what we intend to do because as we seek to develop the human capital of Jamaica we will continue to partner with our very important partners as we continue to build this out,” said Managing Director of the HEART/NSTA Trust, Dr. Janet Dyer.

Dr. Dyer was addressing the Class of 2021 graduates from the Events Planning and Management Level 3 Supervisory Course at their graduation ceremony held on Thursday, July 22 at the SDC St. Catherine Complex.

Noting that some graduates had already secured employment, Dr. Dwyer reminded them of the value of their skills certification and encouraged the graduates to be the best they can be.

“Your commitment and investment in your own knowledge, skills and attitudes have put you on a road to succeed. For us at the HEART/NSTA Trust, we have made significant investments in the success that you have today and the certificate that you will receive. What we are looking for now is that recurring return on investment by taking the competence and certification from this memorable day, to add to the rest of your lives in securing the wellbeing of yourselves, your families and your communities. This partnership with the SDC is one of investment, one that we saw the potential in you and we invested in you,” encouraged Dr. Dyer.

For his part, Executive Director of the SDC, Dr. Dwayne Vernon said he is looking forward to more partnerships with the HEART/NSTA Trust and congratulated the graduates on the successful completion of the course.

“Let me thank all of those that contributed to this programme, we have made it successful. This represents perhaps the first major academic achievement for some of you. Certainly, this is a very proud moment for you graduates. You are now a little more qualified and what you have achieved can’t be taken from you,” added Dr. Vernon.

The seventeen (17) males and six (6) females who graduated make up the first cohort to benefit from the HCHS-SDC partnership since the course began in 2018. They covered a range of modules such as Team Jamaica; Communication; Presentation Skills; Operation Health & Safety Requirements; Project Management; Event Marketing; Meeting & Conference Planning; Human Resource; Applying Industry Knowledge; Complying with Legislation; and Event Media & Technology. They were also exposed to basic Spanish and Computer Technology.

The second cohort began their studies in February 2021.

Release: JIS

Contact: Charnele Henry

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Caribbean News

Jamaica hosts 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#GlobalTourism#Jamaica, February 19th, 2024 – Strengthening the future of global tourism against growing climate challenges, Jamaica hosted the 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Montego Bay from February 17th to the 18th, featuring high level delegates from the around the world, such as the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and spearheaded by its co-founder, Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica. The conference was under the theme “Navigating the Future of Tourism Resilience,” and addressed the swift need for more innovative strategies to combat the growing challenges that threaten Tourism. Sustainable tourism practices, crisis management, digital transformation, and the importance of promoting global partnerships, were among the topics discussed. 


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Caribbean News

Dengue in Peru-Over 12 Thousand Cases



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#Dengue#Peru, February 19th, 2024 – Since the start of the year, there have been more than thirteen thousand cases of dengue in Peru, with over three thousand in the fifth week alone, according to the Peruvian Ministry of Health. The northern region reportedly has the highest number of cases. Revealed in a February 16th report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, this represents a 53.4 percent increase in cases compared to 2023. This massive increase is linked to prolonged heat waves caused by the El Nino effect, the ministry reporting over 100 consecutive unusually hot days and more than 200 warm nights. Higher temperatures create favorable conditions for dengue transmission.

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Caribbean News

The Department of Behavioural Health Services Offers Strategies on Managing Emotional Distress Due to Gun Violence



Exposure to gun violence can have a tremendous impact on a persons’ mental health. Whether you are directly involved in an incident of gun violence, a witness to a shooting, or simply hear about the events on the news, you too can become traumatized or develop symptoms of a mental health disorder.

With horrifying stories of gun violence flooding news headlines around the country, a lot of persons are feeling shocked, fearful, and deeply unsafe. It is therefore important that we keep mental health at the forefront of our conversations about crime due to its impact on our mental wellbeing.

 The Department of Behavioral Health Services wishes to advise persons who have been exposed to gun violence to be aware the following symptoms and to reach out for help if you need to:

 Physical symptoms

Following a traumatic event, your body can enter a state of hypervigilance and anxiety, with symptoms such as: chest tightness, dizziness, rapid breathing, cold sweats, trembling, and aches and pains. Other physical symptoms include:

  • Unfocused thoughts
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Emotional symptoms

Emotional symptoms of trauma can encompass all sorts of feelings, ranging from numbness to despair to fury.  You may also feel:

  • Disbelief
  • Persistent fear
  • Grief
  • Helplessness 
  • Anger   

Symptoms specifically affecting children

The trauma surrounding shootings can have harmful effects on developing minds. Children do not necessarily have to see the violence with their own eyes. Just hearing about it through the media can shatter a child’s sense of safety and affect their mental health.

There is research evidence to support the claim that exposure to gun violence is associated with:

  • Withdrawal
  • Anger
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Learning difficulties

Coping Tips

Although this can all seem overwhelming, you do not have to feel helpless. While reducing gun violence requires a community effort, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your mental health after traumatic events unfold. You can help yourself, your children and other loved ones cope with the stress and difficult emotions in the aftermath of violence.

 Tip #1 Acknowledge difficult feelings

  •             Be patient with yourself
  •             Connect with your emotions
  •             Find healthy ways to express your feelings

Tip #2 Empower yourself

  •             Learn about the problem
  •             Find ways to get involved in helping others

Tip #3 Connect with others

  •             Engage in positive social interactions
  •             Connect with other survivors
  •             Enjoy lighthearted outings

Tip # 4 Manage stress

  •             Explore relaxation techniques
  •             Reduce exposure to violent media
  •             Make time for what you enjoy

 The Department of Behavioural Health Services is encouraging all persons to take special care of their mental health and to reach out to a mental health professional if your need further assistance.

For more information on gun violence and supporting your mental health, contact the Department of Behavioural Health Services on the following numbers:

– 338-3613 Grand Turk

– 338-3616- Providenciales

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