Connect with us

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

Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.


Continue Reading

Caribbean News

Four Year Old Beheaded Trinidad 



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#Homicide#FourYearOld#TrinidadandTobago, April 9, 2024 – Trinidad was left in shock and sorrow with the beheading of a four year old girl, reportedly by her stepfather, early Tuesday April 9, at her home in Arouca, a town in the East-West Corridor of Trinidad and Tobago. The Police informed that when they arrived on the scene, the head of the little girl, identified as Amarah Lallitte, was in one room and her body in another.  


Continue Reading

Caribbean News

CariSECURE 2.0 Equipping Youth to Take Charge Against Crime



Bridgetown, 9 April, 2024 – Amidst rising concerns over citizen security in the Caribbean, a deliberate effort is being made to empower the region’s youth to step into leadership roles and drive change from within. Through a free, online course by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), youth will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle pressing security challenges head-on.

The “Youth on the way to Peace and Security” course is being launched regionally as part of CariSECURE 2.0 (CS2.0), which works to reduce youth involvement in crime and trafficking in persons (TIP) in the region. It will run from 16 April – 3 May, with support from InfoSegura.

This course comes at a crucial time when security issues like crime and violence are on the rise in the Caribbean. By the end of the course, participants will have improved understanding of regional security challenges, enhanced leadership skills, and greater opportunity to network with peers and experts around the region, empowering them to take leadership roles in regional conversations and citizen security activities.

Maia Hibben, Project Manager for CariSECURE 2.0, underscored the significance of engaging young people in matters of citizen security.  ” Throughout the life of our project, input from young people has been invaluable,” she said. “Whether it be helping to craft national workplans to reduce crime, developing a roadmap for youth empowerment in the Caribbean, or creating digital solutions to improve crime reporting as planned for this year, youth have proven that their perspectives are indispensable. This course is just another way for youth to strengthen their skills to address regional security challenges.”

By building capacity of young leaders to address security challenges and promote social cohesion, the course contributes directly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16, towards Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

The course will offer lessons in the current mechanisms that impact youth decision making, insight into youth citizen security challenges in the Caribbean, and give practical guidance on the positive roles participants can play in conflict resolution, with complementary webinars, podcasts and practical resources tailored to the English-speaking Caribbean. It is free of charge and open to participants from all backgrounds, regardless of age, nationality, or level of experience. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.

Register for the course by 15 April:

Continue Reading