Nassau, Bahamas– Nearly a year has passed since The Bahamas Crisis Centre initiated the ‘National Early Intervention Programme for Children Exposed to Violence’ (NEIPC) in February last year.
With the growing demand to provide specific trauma-focused therapy for people who’ve experienced all forms of violence – be it sexual violence, grief over a lost loved one, witnessing a murder, or any other sort of traumatic experience – NEIPC specifically offers help to children ages two to 18. It’s one of a number of vital individual and community help programmes facilitated by the Crisis Centre that will continue to endure following a recent donation made to the organisation by CIBC FirstCaribbean.
Ayla Roberts, director of NEIPC, said: “As a non-profit organisation there are many needs we try to meet for families, and those needs can be particularly challenging. One of them is to continue to have enough support in place for people who experience trauma – hence, the development of this programme. We provide specific trauma-focused therapy for people who’ve experienced all forms of violence – be it sexual assault, grief, witnessing a murder, or any other sort of traumatic experience.”
Based on the programme’s criteria, The Bahamas Crisis Centre personnel have facilitated over 800 counselling sessions as of mid-December.
“Violence is all around us,” said Roberts. “Every day people are walking through our doors in need of advice and support because of what they’re witnessing and experiencing in their homes, their schools, and their communities. We’re really trying to enhance the programme and expand its reach, because as we all know there is an increase in violence, and there need to be preventative measures in place to support people who need to heal and recover from these traumatic experiences. That is one of the ways we will apply the funding and support given to us by CIBC FirstCaribbean, in addition to other initiatives we hope to start and keep going.”
“The Bahamas Crisis Centre is a safe place for people who often have nowhere else to go,” said CIBC FirstCaribbean Marketing Manager Maya Nottage. “They help with bullying and domestic violence awareness programmes in schools throughout The Bahamas, and conduct community workshops and training sessions that offer professional help on how to address trauma and gender-based violence. Their 24-hour hotline and legal advocacy haven’t faltered in 35 years. We’re confident that our donation will go a long way in supporting their efforts, which we know are desperately needed to protect the social fabric of our community.”
Among the hundreds of families The Bahamas Crisis Centre has served, the NEIPC programme has managed to improve countless lives. “We’ve had some children come to us with emotional and behavioural problems, and having gone through the programme they’re able to return to their schools, function better in their homes, and feel a sense of hope again about themselves, their lives, and their futures.”
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance from The Bahamas Crisis Centre, call 328-0922 for their 24-hour hotline. You can also message the organisation on Facebook or visit their website at Bahamascrisiscentre.org.