stluciatimes, caribbean, caribbeannews, stlucia, saintlucia, stlucianews, saintlucianews, stluciatimesnews, saintluciatimes, stlucianewsonline, saintlucianewsonline, st lucia news online, stlucia news online, loop news, loopnewsbarbados


Saint Lucia Strengthening Community Support To Tackle Cancer & Mental Health


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a heavy toll on society, as seen in mounting cases of mental health issues and other physical ailments.

In order to raise awareness and better enable society to provide the prerequisite support, the Community Services Unit of the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment held a capacity building exercise at the Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC) in Belle-Vue, Vieux Fort on Thursday, October 27, 2022 to sensitize Social Transformation Officers on Cancer and Mental Health issues.

The sensitization programme, in observance of World Mental Health Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed on October 10 and October 1 – 31 annually, sought to impart knowledge and equip Social Transformation Officers (STOs) with the relevant tools to strengthen community group support systems, create a sense of belonging and reduce any stigma around the two illnesses.

Officer in charge of the Community Services Unit Kendall Elva emphasized the importance of being knowledgeable about the clinical aspect of both Cancer and Mental Health.  According to Mr. Elva, “with the issue of Breast Cancer people need to diagnose very early as research shows that early detection increases the survival rate.  As STO’s we need to understand the various aspects of Mental Health as well as Breast Cancer to better implement programmes to support vulnerable families in need of assistance.”

Social Transformation Officer (STO) for Soufriere and Choiseul and Programme Coordinator Shema Glasgow says, “Building a support network is critical to addressing issues of mental health and cancer care within communities. This will help create awareness and mobilize efforts in support of managing such illnesses.”  

According to Glasgow, “There has been an influx of mental health reported cases among young men in my region. As such, it is crucial for Social Transformation Officers, organizations, family members and Ministry staff to understand the impact that mental health has on daily life and to plan appropriately for dealing with it.”

Workshop participant and Social Transformation Officer for Castries East and North Shalina Mann welcomed the initiative. “The knowledge gained at the workshop may lead to opportunities to better connect and provide support and sensitize families on Breast Cancer and Mental Health issues,” she noted.

In 2020, more than 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer and over 970 million people worldwide were affected by a mental disorder. For both breast cancer and mental health, people often suffer in silence, while their conditions go undiagnosed or untreated.

SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment

Any third-party or user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries published on the St. Lucia Times website ( in no way convey the thoughts, sentiments or intents of St. Lucia Times, the author of any said article or post, the website, or the business. St. Lucia Times is not responsible or liable for, and does not endorse, any comments or replies posted by users and third parties, and especially the content therein and whether it is accurate. St. Lucia Times reserves the right to remove, screen, edit, or reinstate content posted by third parties on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times (this includes the said user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries) at our sole discretion for any reason or no reason, and without notice to you, or any user. For example, we may remove a comment or reply if we believe it violates any part of the St. Lucia Criminal Code, particularly section 313 which pertains to the offence of Libel. Except as required by law, we have no obligation to retain or provide you with copies of any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times. All third-parties and users agree that this is a public forum, and we do not guarantee any confidentiality with respect to any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website. Any posts made and information disclosed by you is at your own risk.


  1. I sincerely hope that support networks are put in place for ALL forms of mental health conditions in St Lucia. Too many people have suffered and died because of the lack of services and understanding. Their families have been traumatised.

  2. I am starting to believe that mental illness is a communicabe disease among the administration at SALCC. We as students in the department of nursing at SALCC can not believe that administration of SALCC is turning a blind eye on the grave situation that currently exist in our nursing department. Is mental illness a communicabe disease at SALCC?

  3. There are paid positions and institutions, sadly to say they simply don’t know how to execute and implement viable programs.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Subscribe to our St. Lucia Times Newsletter

Get our headlines emailed to you every day.

Share via
Send this to a friend