Jamaica | Feb 24, 2023

HEART/NSTA Trust personnel trained to strengthen skills for supporting youth

/ Our Today

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Participants in the training take a group photo with (from left sitting): Ronique Rhoden, director of programmes at HEART/NSTA Trust; Dr Elizabeth Ward, technical assistant to the EU Budget Support of the GOJ Citizen Security Programme; Sheena Copeland of the Child Resiliency Programme; Dr Kim Scott, adolescent health specialist and expert of the EU Technical Assistance team; Kymberly Bell, project coordinator at HEART/NSTA Trust and Dr Michelle Miller, consultant at the Child Resiliency Programme. (Photo: Contributed)

More than 20 HEART/NSTA Trust personnel, instructors and members from the security force were recently trained in trauma management, resilience and wellness to enhance the skills to support at-risk youth participating in HEART/NSTA Trust courses.

The training took place on Monday (February 20) at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston and is part of the European Union funded technical assistance to the Citizen Security Plan of the Government of Jamaica. 

Dr Kim Scott, adolescent health specialist and expert of the EU technical assistance team, who developed the training delivered the session to the HEART/NSTA Trust personnel together with her team.

The training will build skills and confidence of personnel to manage conflict and behaviour, as well as understand the impact of trauma on trainees. The participants of the training included HEART career development officers, mentorship and empowerment officers, instructors and security personnel.

“It is critical for persons working with children or youth at risk to be fully equipped with the skills needed to manage trauma. They must be empowered to maintain their own resiliency and wellness as they strive towards building peace in the face of ongoing challenges,” said Scott.

The HEART/NSTA Trust Unattached Youth Vocational Training Programme is an important component of the Citizen Security Plan, supported by the European Union.

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (File Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman)

“This training is part of a much broader European Union (EU) and Jamaica partnership around the Citizen Security Plan, supporting an all-of-government approach to crime and violence. The EU is proud to partner with HEART/NSTA Trust to strengthen psychosocial support for youth in training,” said Aniceto Rodriguez Ruiz, head of cooperation of the EU to Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Dr Taneisha Ingleton, managing director of the HEART/NSTA Trust, welcomed the programme, which she said aligns well with the Trust’s focus on capacity building for its team members who have to interface with youth and implement life-changing activities and initiatives that impact them.

“This training will equip our team members with the necessary competencies to identify triggers that may impact the mental health of trainees and to devise useful strategies to address any issues that could negatively impact their state of wellness. I am anticipating that this will therefore set them on a path towards ensuring that they are empowered to achieve their full potential by accelerating their performance and contributing to personal success,” she added.

The Oxford Road, corporate headquarters of the HEART/NSTA Trust in New Kingston. (Photo:

If successful, and based on the lessons learned, this training may be expanded to other groups and training initiatives, said Dr Ingleton.

Participants in the training said that the session was very interactive.

“The session was very empowering, it equipped us with knowledge on how to handle traumatic situations and build peace,” said Ricardo McCalpine, a Jamaica Constabulary Force community safety and security branch officer.

The training will contribute to reducing attrition and lay the basis for entry into the job market. Based on the expected results of the training session a second cohort of 20 is expected to be trained in March.


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