KINGSTON – The Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) had their opening ceremony for their newly established youth clinic – the Adolescent Resource Centre (ARC), on Wednesday. WCJF adolescent mothers will benefit from the clinic, as they will be able to receive free and easier access to quality health services.
The German Embassy donated $1.5 million (JMD) for clinic equipment and the refurbishing of a vacant building on the Kingston Centre property.
The WCJF partnered with the Jamaica Family Planning Association (JFPA), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Family Planning Board, and Eve For Life, in the operation of the centre.
The major partner of the clinic, JFPA, is a non-profit sexual reproductive health (SRH) service provider. The Association will provide management systems, including annual healthcare facility audits to ensure that the site meets international standards in SRH service delivery. They also provide proprietary software to manage client information and maintain confidentiality and privacy, proprietary tools to monitor commodities distribution and performance improvements. In addition, they will participate in networking meetings, train service providers, provide monthly reports, manage and provide a few staff, and manage the site. In managing the site, JFPA will oversee the effective operation of the clinic’s management system.
ARC services will include:
Adolescent mothers are particularly faced with a myriad of issues, several of which find root in the circumstances surrounding their pregnancy. All too often, there is the need for specialized counselling, inclusive of psychotherapy, to help these young mothers come to terms with their issues.
Contraceptive Counselling & Methods
Contraceptive counselling sessions will be delivered by trained counsellors, and, a wide array of contraceptive methods will be made available for the adolescents. The parents of the adolescent mothers will be included in the contraceptive counselling sessions, and they will play a pivotal role in the decision of the method that is best suited for their daughters.
Screening & Referral for STI’s
Provisions will be made for the screening for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) as well as HIV. Referrals for treatment will be made as needed.
Mental Health Care
The mental health of adolescent mothers is of particular concern in light of the possible life-altering effects of a pregnancy. The WCJF proposes to screen all the adolescent mothers (i) upon registration, to ascertain the extent to which they have accepted, and are coping with, the pregnancy; and (ii) post-delivery, to screen for, and treat, postpartum depression.
Adolescents are usually more comfortable sharing with their peers.
Male SRH Sessions
Counselling sessions will be specially designed for adolescent males; with a view to helping them better understand male SRH issues.
Counselling for Ministry of Justice Child Diversion Clients
Screening for inclusion, and counselling will be provided for adolescents (male and female), who are referred to the WCJF for the Ministry of Justice’s Child Diversion Programme.
Career Coaching Sessions
Coaching sessions will be held to assist the adolescents in determining the career path best suited to their personality and ability.