Developing a Curriculum for Psychiatric Nurse Specialists : A Belizean Program for the Caribbean Subregion

With attrition of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, a unique professional corps in the Caribbean that has proven to benefit mental health services in Belize, the involvement of the Montreal WHO-PAHO-CC was requested by Belize to set up a new training program. The project partly funded by Health Canada. The activity required that we do a review resources and needs of the mental health services, of their place and interactions with general health services, and that a vision of MH services be forged in line with future mental health policy aims. The endeavor involved several collaborators. From Belize, in addition to the MoH, the MH Services (Bennett Eleanor, Nursing Administrator for the Mental Health Program), and PAHO-Belize office (Ivan Cabb and Dr. DeCosio), there was the University of Belize, Godinez Catherine, Nursing Council Registrar, the department of Labor, and others. From Montreal, the Department of Nursing of the Douglas MH Institute, including Martine Lafleur, Principal Advisor in Nursing Care & Co-president Clinical Ethics Committee, Nursing Directorate, Marc Laporta (Dir WHO-CC) and Hélène Racine, Director of Nursing & Director of Quality.

The reports, reviews, and setting of a critical path were successfully completed and handed in. The training itself has not yet been offered by Belize. Our CC will remain available for follow-up on the implementation of this training as needed.