(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Department of Social Services has relaunched its national 24-hour hotline to assist those suffering from mental and physical issues said Acting Deputy Director of Social Services for the Northern Bahamas District
Charlamae Fernander during a press conference on Thursday, July 22.
Noting that they at the Department are aware of the many residents in Grand Bahama still suffering from “stress and strain” from Hurricane Dorian and the global pandemic and will feel the effects for quite some time.
Also, present were Dorothea Gomez, Chief Welfare Officer and Jody Burrows, Chief Welfare Officer and manager of the National Hotline for Grand Bahama.
While the service is not new to the country, the public will have somewhere to turn for assistance, 24 hour a day. The hotline, which will begin on Friday evening, will be manned by trained officers of the Department.
“It brings us great pleasure to offer this service to the people of Grand Bahama. We are aware, because we see it on a daily basis, that persons in these communities are suffering a tremendous amount of stress and strain. More than the ordinary stresses of life. Their situations have been severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian, we are still feeling the effects of that and will do so for a while yet. And that of course, is being
compounded by COVID-19 pandemic which is ongoing.”
The officers, she said, have been trained to deal with various cases and scenarios.Jody Burrows explained that they are ready to deal with domestic violence, child abuse, protection matters, suicide threats or attempts, emergency temporary housing, trafficking of persons or smuggling of persons.
Other assistance programs include financial and medical assistance.
The 24-hour cell number for the hotline is 727-2471 or 352-9851/2, which is available from 9am to 5pm.
The National Hotline is operational in New Providence and Abaco with special numbers. In other Family Islands where there is a local office, residents should contact those offices for their numbers.