The Department of Health’s Division of Mental Health, Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Services invites residents to a public forum on how families can navigate the economic downtown with the pending closure of the Hovensa Oil Refinery, according to a press release issued Friday by DOH.
The forum, entitled “Managing Stress in These Trying Times,” will be held beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, at the University of the Virgin Islands and is being sponsored in part by the St. Croix Chapter of the American Counseling Association, the Association of Virgin Islands Psychologists and Black Psychiatrist of America, which is holding its annual meeting on St. Croix. A portion of Monday’s planned forum will focus on discussions with ministers in light of their counseling/leadership positions, while the second session is opened to employees who will be affected with the closure.
The schedule is as follows:
· 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – All heads of churches
· 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Affected employees
Professional psychiatrists will be on hand for discussions on what can be done to maintain a family’s emotion and physical health while navigating the economic storm, according to Doris Farrington Hepburn, mental health director. Residents will be able to share thoughts and concerns, learn how to manage stress and keep a healthy attitude and find out about resources to help themselves and their families stay healthy.
Prior to Monday’s public forum, the group will meet with mental health professionals and community leaders to get their input on the problems that residents may be facing and how organizations outside the Virgin Islands can help, among other topics. The meeting will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Sunday at the UVI and community leaders and mental health professionals are encouraged to attend.
For more information on both events, call 773-1311, ext. 3013 or 3033.