Reverend Dr R Osbert James, OBE Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Grenada and Minister at the St Andrew Presbyterian Church (Scot’s Kirk) offers as part of church community outreach, grief, and mental health counselling to the Grenadian community in the face of Covid-19 community spread and challenged livelihoods.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major effect on life in Grenada. Amidst community spread, people are faced with social restriction, living alone, reduced income, feelings of disconnection and bereavement. These can all pose a serious threat to an individual’s mental stability. With more than 18 months since the start of the pandemic globally, it is even more important that mental health care is available to assist people with coping during these uncertain times.
Reverend James reassures Grenadians that there is still reason to be optimistic. “Although this may be an extremely challenging period for us, it is important to do what we can to relieve the daily stresses we may be experiencing,” Rev. Dr James shared. As a pastoral counsellor and trained healthcare chaplain at Brookdale University Hospital, Brooklyn and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Rev. Dr James has journeyed with many persons in their grief. He was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in 2019 with an OBE for “Religious and Community Service.”
Currently, 183 people locally have died from Covid-19 related complications, but grief is not limited to only the loss of a loved one. “Many of us may be grieving the loss of our familiar lives, our sense of wellbeing, or our freedom of movement. These are all reasons we may need someone to talk to,” he continued.
Rev. Dr James is available to assist anyone that may need counselling or anyone experiencing feelings of worry, frustration, confusion, and loss. He can be contacted on (473) 449-8031 to set an appointment and this ministry is free of cost to all interested persons. As an added convenience, the sessions will be done virtually to cater to individual schedules.
Grenadians are encouraged to find healthy ways of coping with stress by maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, communicating with friends or family, and taking breaks from news stories that are Covid-19 related. Although it is important to stay informed, constantly hearing about the effects of the pandemic can be upsetting. Remembering that there is hope and striving for balanced mental health is most important.