Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Public Health
Release Date:
Thursday, 22 September 2022 - 12:19pm

Clinicians, caregivers and the public will be educated about the signs and symptoms of depression at a workshop to be hosted by the Ministry of Health and Social Development next month.

 Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services, Mrs. Gracia Wheatley-Smith said the workshop will be held on Wednesday October 6 at 7:00 p.m. via the Zoom platform and will educate participants on the epidemiology of depression and practical tips in the clinical use of antidepressants. There will also be discussions on the international classifications of depression and the categories of antidepressants and pharmacological properties.

“We need to increase awareness,” Mrs. Wheatley-Smith, adding, “There have been quite a number of prescriptions received to treat depression along with an increased need to import psychotropic to treat persons experiencing depression.”

 “We expect that following this workshop the depressed patient will get enhanced medical care, persons will be more informed and aware of the signs and symptoms to be able to help someone affected, and with the new knowledge we can improve our lifestyles and rally together to assist persons in need early,” Mrs. Wheatley-Smith stated.

The workshop will be facilitated by former Head of the OECS/PPS and Individual Consultant in Medicines and Supply Chain Management, Mr. Francis Burnett and Director of Turning Point St. Lucia, Mr. Robert Huggins who has a Masters in Counselling Psychology.

Health practitioners including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians allied health professionals, care givers, family members and persons diagnosed with depression are welcomed to register for the workshop at a cost of $10.00. Three continuing education credits will be available for clinicians.

Persons can contact Mrs. Smith via telephone at 468-9850 or via email at to register for the Elevating the Depressed Patient workshop.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively impact the health of the population are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and well-being.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286