CARICOM to host behaviour change Comms. workshop

CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana – Minister of Health of Jamaica, Honourable Rudyard Spencer will give the feature address at the Opening Ceremony of a three-day workshop on incorporating behaviour change communication strategies and models in prevention-planning programmes to mitigate substance abuse.

Organised jointly by the Caribbean Community Secretariat and the European Union, under the 9th EDF, in collaboration with the National Drug Abuse Council, Jamaica, the three day work shop is designed to train directors of drug abuse councils and other relevant policy makers. The workshop opens on Tuesday, 10 February at the Knutsford Court Hotel and seeks to strengthen the capacity of national drug abuse councils to incorporate behaviour change models and strategies in their prevention planning programmes in a bid to change behaviour and attitudes of those who may be inclined to abuse a substance.

It is anticipated that such a scientific approach may redound ultimately to preventing more persons in the Caribbean from misusing substances. In this regard international behaviour Change Communication expert Dr Shaheed Mohammed, from the University of Pennsylvania will deliver the key note address on Thursday and will be the primary facilitator at the workshop.

The organisers are hoping that the workshop will spawn four primary objectives: assist the more than eighty participants to apply selected aspects of behaviour change communication strategies and associated tools; understand the importance of the research, behaviour change and policy continuum; review existing or proposed prevention programmes in the context of behaviour change communication models and identify (one) behaviour change programme for implementation across the Caribbean.

A team of regional and international experts in the area of drug prevention and Behaviour Change Communication will be facilitating the workshop on topics including: Shaping Communication for Caribbean Audiences; Communication, Culture, Science and Strategic thinking for Behaviour Change Communication; Education–Edutainment: Reconnecting with Caribbean Youth; Research, Policy and Behaviour Change; Communication, Culture, Science and Strategic Thinking for Behaviour Change Communication and Work life Planning for Substance Abuse Prevention Agencies.

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