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Jun 10, 1999

Police and Prison officers attend psychiatric workshop

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Although they have full schedules, twenty-five Police Officers and Prison Warders devoted their day to learning new techniques in a workshop sponsored by the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization. According to psychiatrist Dr. Roy Lopez, their objective is to sensitize the officers about Mental Health and Psychiatric Issues in order to help them carry out their jobs more effectively.

Dr. Roy Lopez, Psychiatrist

“Today’s workshop is to help the police and prison personnel become familiar with some of the illnesses and the manifestations mentally ill patients will exhibit.”

Arreini Palacio, Reporting

Why is it so important for police officers to know about these mental illnesses?

Dr. Roy Lopez

“Well in most cases these are front line people often a family will call again when a family members is misbehaving or acting inappropriately or is highlyagitated the cops have to be called to assist in subduing the patient and often too the cops are not equipped to talk to the patient often the agitated patient is not but he is agitated is not because the patient wants to, probably by drugs or mental illness.”

The facilitators at the workshop were Dr. Lopez, Dr. Claudina Cayetano and attorney Simeon Sampson and representatives for the Ministry of Health and PAHO. The one-day session was held at the National Development Finance Corporation conference room and is part of a mental health awareness campaign.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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