In an effort to further strengthen and improve the quality of health services offered in Guyana, the Eureka Medical Laboratory (EML) opened Guyana’s first Psychodiagnostics and Family Therapy Centre.
Speaking with the Guyana Inc. Magazine about this exciting new venture was Mr. Ren Gonsalves. Mr. Gonsalves has a Master of Science in Psychology and 20 years experience in the field.
The Psychologist noted that the EML Psychodiagnostics and Family Therapy Centre was founded by himself; EML’s CEO, Mr. Andrew Boyle and his industrious wife, Dr. Karen Boyle.
He said that outpatient psychological services began in 2016 when he started accepting referrals from friends, students and more notably from the Child Protection Agency (CPA) which sought his services for psychological intervention of special cases.
The idea of establishing a centre to carry out psychodiagnostics, he said, was born in 2017, and then is when he started to purchase test materials which he now uses for psychological testing.
The psychologist shared that the idea was further cemented when Mr. Boyle broached the idea of a possible collaboration with psychiatrists in Georgetown, primarily as a support service to clients who may need counseling.
Some of the services offered at the Centre include: Counseling, Psychotherapy, Play Therapy for Children, Psychological Testing, Substance Abuse/ Addiction Therapy, Family Therapy, Training and Contracted Services.
Additionally, Gonsalves shared that since the launch of the Centre, it has partnered with a number of agencies such as the Ministry of Health.
“With the Ministry, we coordinate with the Drug Demand Reduction Services and the Mental Health Unit especially for training practitioners in drug prevention. Thus far, we have conducted two separate trainings already, one for Drug Use Prevention and the other one was on Brief Intervention in Drug Use Treatment. Both were held recently.”
“We have scheduled a series of trainings of practitioners for next year. We have an ongoing case-to-case basis partnership with CPA. We have special partnership with the US Peace Corps as well as with other private entities. Recently, we partnered with Trans Guyana for employment selection purposes.”
Gonsalves also shared the belief that the Centre has an important role to play in the national fight against mental illness.
“The operations of the Eureka Psychodiagnostics and Family Center can be described as a multi-disciplinary behavioural health care practice that offers psychological services and child and family health services to Guyana with primary focus on Georgetown and neighbouring communities. Our focus is to provide cost-effective and efficient psychological interventions for children, men, women and families from all walks of life.”
“In 2017, we introduced the EML Psychodiagnostics and Family Centre, a first of its kind, that aims to alleviate the psycho-social ills that beset the Guyanese family. It must be noted that Guyana has been ranked by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 as second among the countries with the highest rates of suicide.”
“With the services of internationally trained psychologists, EML puts its stake on this issue. The issues of dysfunctional families, depression, anxiety disorders, domestic violence and drug addiction are but a few of the psycho-social issues that the centre will try to help to address. Thus, the establishment of the centre proves beneficial, not only on the individual level, but also on the national frontier of development.”
Since the launch of the Centre, the response from the public has been overwhelming. Gonsalves shared that the entity’s networks have been expanding tremendously in so far as private-public partnership is concerned. He also noted that the US Peace Corps, for instance, has chosen the Centre as one of their providers.