How to deal with trauma

Talk with others about how you feel. Don’t isolate yourself.
Calm yourself. Try meditation or deep breathing exercises.
Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet.
Avoid using alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.
Get back to your daily routine. Do the things you would normally do.
Get your mental health checked.
Hospital services in Jamaica
Persons with mental disorders are treated in most hospitals in Jamaica. In addition, there is a psychiatric unit at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St James, and the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston. Services are also offered at the Bellevue Hospital in Kingston. No individual should be denied care in any public facility. Very often, some of these facilities are full. It is important that you demand a high level of service. If you are not happy with the services provided, you may report this to the persons in charge of the hospital, the regional health authority or to the Ministry of Health.
5. Day hospitals
The more specialised hospitals also offer day hospital service. In the day hospital, the client comes to the hospital in the mornings and leaves in the afternoons. If you have a family member who cannot be admitted to hospital or is not too ill, you may ask for that person to be treated in the day hospital.
6. Group homes
In Jamaica, we do have several group homes for the treatment of persons with mental disorders. A group home is a home away from home. Many of these facilities are not as restrictive as the hospital, and persons are treated in a home-like settings. Group homes are used to continue the treatment of persons who have recently left hospitals. There are some persons who require constant supervision but do not have family members living in Jamaica or their family members may simply be burnt out. In these instances, you may want to consider group home placement. All group homes operating in Jamaica are privately run and attract a fee for service.
7. Crisis teams
If you have a family member who refuses to go to the hospital or who may be out of control, you may call your local hospital for the services of the crisis team.
8. Limited social services
Persons with mental illness may receive subsided bus passes and limited social services. In order to access these services, register with the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disability.
Dr Wendel Abel is a consultant psychiatrist and head, Section of Psychiatry, Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the West Indies. Call 977-1108

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