By Sueann Wickham

In a world where mental health struggles often remain hidden behind closed doors, there are individuals who dedicate their lives to bringing these struggles to light while providing the support needed for healing and growth. Dr. Moses John Roderique, a seasoned client-centred psychologist, is one who stands as a beacon of hope for those seeking solace in their mental health journeys.

With unwavering dedication, he raises awareness and offers comprehensive therapeutic guidance, standing as a compassionate companion to those on the path to emotional well-being. Through the lens of the Guyana Standard, his journey unfolds, bearing as a testament to empathy, expertise, and steadfast commitment to mental health.

During his interview with this publication, Dr. Roderique who has had two successful years of private years of practice noted that Guyana’s mental health landscape presents serious challenges, and he hopes he can play a pivotal part in highlighting the pressing issue.

He said research underscores that a significant portion of Guyanese individuals grapple with mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, he emphasised that these struggles are often compounded by the stigma surrounding mental health, a global issue deeply resonating within local contexts.

The interplay of cultural and societal factors significantly contributes to this stigma, Dr. Roderique explained. “Mental health education is not prioritized in the socialization process,” he stated, adding that, in a society where conversations about mental health are rare, misconceptions and a lack of understanding often prevail.

Despite these challenges, Dr. Roderique’s contributions to mental health support stand as a testament to his commitment to make a difference. His services span a spectrum of interventions, ranging from personalized counselling sessions to specialized therapeutic strategies addressing trauma and depression. His innovative approach seamlessly extends to the virtual realm, where he adapts mental health care to the demands of modernity.

Of significance is that community engagement lies at the heart of Dr. Roderique’s mission. Through active participation in medical outreaches and collaborations with local leaders, he endeavours to reduce stigma and amplify awareness about mental health. The professional also shared that he envisions a transformed Guyana, where mental health takes centre stage as a national priority. He imagines a landscape where everyone has access to high quality mental health care services; a place where awareness flourishes, and robust support systems abound.

Along his journey as a psychologist, he hopes to be the epitome of empathy, resilience, and transformation. As he guides individuals through the intricate paths of their mental health journeys, he hopes that his narrative interweaves threads of compassion, determination, and purpose. In his own words, Dr. Roderique emphasised, “I am committed to providing compassionate and effective psychological care.”

The psychologist who has had two successful years of private years of practice shared that he was always interested in gaining a profound understanding of human behaviour and evidence-based therapeutic approaches. He said the roots of his passion for psychology traced back to his personal history. “My inspiration to become a psychologist stemmed from my lifelong passion of wanting to help others who daily, look for hopeful roads to healing, recovery, and change,” he reflected. From an early age, his innate ability to offer guidance and solutions marked the trajectory to his current calling.

With his eyes set on becoming a psychologist, Dr. Roderique knew that he had to make great sacrifices. However, navigating the path to becoming a qualified psychologist was no small feat. His educational journey encompassed multiple institutions, each contributing to his holistic understanding of mental health. After completing his Bachelor of Science in Psychology programme at Ashworth College, USA, he seamlessly transferred his accumulated credits to Heart Bible International University. There, he merged his Bachelor’s Degree with his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

His academic achievements culminated in a PhD in Counseling & Psychology from the same institution. His extensive research endeavours, including a Baccalaureate Capstone Project and a Doctoral Capstone Project, focused on the transformative power of devotional literature, reflected his passion for knowledge and commitment to making meaningful contributions to the fields of academia and psychology.

Promoting Awareness

Dr. Roderique’s engagement with local communities is the cornerstone of his advocacy. Through volunteering his professional services at medical outreaches and engaging with local leaders, he actively contributes to reducing stigma and fostering awareness about mental health. He was pleased to share that he is currently in conversation with the recently elected Mayor of New Amsterdam to initiate psychoeducational interventions that will transform perceptions and prioritize mental well-being.

Collaboration and partnerships are integral to his efforts in addressing mental health challenges he said. He also revealed that he is affiliated with several organizations such as Royalty International University, EGS Health – MEDICAS, Guyana Cancer Foundation, and more. These collaborations extend his reach and amplify the impact of his work, which echoes his commitment to a multi-faceted approach to mental health advocacy.

Success stories are woven into the fabric of Dr. Roderique’s journey, illustrating the positive impact of his work on individuals’ mental health. While he respects client confidentiality, and cannot directly point to a specific case, he did share that his success is measured by the number of clients he has empowered to overcome challenges, initiate positive changes, and navigate their lives with newfound resilience. The journey to mental well-being is deeply personal and unique for each individual, and Dr. Roderique ensures that he walks this path alongside them.

Looking forward, Dr. Roderique said he envisions a destigmatized environment where mental health education is prioritized and support systems are fortified. “An investment definitely needs to be made. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to enjoy mental health and access the mental health care they need,” he asserted.

The evolution of perceptions around mental health is a gradual process, but Dr. Roderique remains steadfast in his dedication. He believes that with concerted efforts, mental health can shed its stigma, and a supportive environment can be fostered. His tireless work contributes to the broader societal shift that prioritizes mental well-being and recognizes its profound impact on individuals, families, and communities.

On a personal note, Dr. Roderique’s well-being is intertwined with his commitment to supporting others. He acknowledges the challenges inherent in his role and emphasizes the importance of self-care. “Being a mental health practitioner is often challenging,” he shared. “I find strength and vitality in reminding myself that though I am needed to make a positive difference, rest, refreshment, and rejuvenation should not be absent from my life.” Dr. Roderique also stressed the importance of him practising what he preaches and he finds solace in activities that rejuvenate his spirit, like visiting the serene beaches of the Caribbean islands. In fact, he noted that he finds beaches to be “therapeutic”.

Nevertheless, the psychologist believes that through his work, and with the help of others, the narrative of mental health in Guyana can undergo a profound metamorphosis, transcending stigma, nurturing understanding, and fostering a culture of empathy and support. As he continues to guide individuals through their mental health journeys, he hopes to have a legacy of hope and healing that leaves an indelible mark on those he helps.

The journey to mental well-being is surely intricate and marked by triumphs, setbacks and progress, but the Guyana Standard believes that within this intricate tapestry, Dr. Roderique’s narrative stands as a guiding light, illuminating the path toward a brighter and more compassionate future for mental health in Guyana.


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