Beauty Queen Volunteers at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre

20 year old Monice Nazon the Miss Grand-Grand Bahama contestant in the Miss Bahamas Grand Pageant recently completed an internship at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) after she initiated a visit to the facility to learn more about mental illness and its impact on the local population.

The young beauty contestant who is also a professional scuba diver stated at the commencement of her program, "My platform is psychological violence and during my time at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre I hope to have a better understanding of mental illnesses. From gaining more knowledge on this sensitive topic, I hope to share my journey with others through social media platforms and help bring more awareness to psychological violence".

One of the highlights of her volunteering duties Nazon said was assisting on the wards of the Geriatric Hospital. She also interviewed Dr. Tracy King, Clinical Psychologist at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre who is assigned to the Community Counselling and Assessment Centre.  The discussion covered a range of topics including: the differences and similarities between mental health and illness; factors that cause mental illness; the prevalence of mental illness in the Bahamas; the perceived lack of priority mental health is given in the Bahamas; challenges faced by the mental health sector and the treatment of mental health in the Bahamas.

Amazed at the information she received through her time at SRC, Monice said she feels it is imperative that she shares what she has learned adding, “I realize that society has the wrong impression about mental illness, which results in many persons not seeking professional help.  I vow that I will share this information with friends, family members and persons that I come in contact with even if only for a moment".

Miss Bahamas Grand Pageant contestant now says that the she intends to continue volunteering at the Sandilands Rehabilitation where she has been dubbed an SRC Ambassador.  

Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre is the Bahamas’ national resource for psychiatric, geriatric and substance abuse services. The Centre is located in the eastern district of New Providence on Fox Hill Road with a staff complement of 850 and is comprised primarily of two (2) hospitals. The Geriatric Hospital cares for the elderly with medical, social and psychiatric problems; while the Sandilands Hospital cares for the mentally and physically challenged children, adolescents and adult clients in addition to a substance abuse programme that rehabilitates abusers of all substances.  



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