A diversified programme aimed at helping the residents of the Night Shelter to curb the social struggles which they battle with will be rolled out in August. Probation and Social Services Officer attached to the Ministry of Social Protection, Ms Natasha Mansfield, said the programme will cover topics including depression, substance abuse, self-care and mental illness/mental health.

Mansfield was placed at the Night Shelter three months ago. She explained that when she began her work there, she met with residents and had one-on-one discussions with them to determine their social needs.

“When I interacted with the residents I began to understand their challenges. I found that most of the residents are depressed and have mental illnesses. I did some counselling with them and engaged them in physical exercise and group discussions. I am aiming to commence the formal programme in August where we’ll have formal discussions and professionals come in and talk with the residents,” Mansfield explained.

The programme will kick start with a concentrated focus on depression, which is most prevalent among Night Shelter residents. This will be followed by other topics. The Probation and Social Services Officer said she will be liaising with professionals in the mental illness area who will facilitate the discussion.

The institution, which falls under the purview of the Social Protection Ministry, offers 24-hour service and currently houses 59 residents and provides meals and other amenities. The residents are also prepared for reintegration into society.

The staff complement was boosted with additional Patient Care Assistants and a Registered Nurse is expected to be added to the staff. There were also recent upgrades to some of the facilities at the institution, including the renovation of the kitchen and eating areas for staff and male and female residents. For the first time, a security camera, fire extinguisher, and wet floor signs were secured and the institution is regularly fumigated.

Imminently, an Occupational Health and Safety (OS&H) standard for the Shelter will be developed to promote safety on the job.


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