|Dr. Davidson Hepburn appointed spokesman for National Hotline|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 09:59|
Minister of Social Services and Community Development, the Hon. Melanie S. Griffin said Dr. Hepburn’s appointment, in addition to an ongoing public awareness and education campaign that was recently launched by the Ministry of Social Services and Community Development, is expected to generate increased awareness of the many services offered by the National Hotline.
Operated 24 hours a day, seven days per week, the Hotline is manned by 21 trained counsellors on a rotation basis, who accept calls related to cases of child abuse, domestic violence, marital problems, financial problems, homelessness, depression, stress and from persons with suicidal tendencies, among many other matters.
Mrs. Griffin said Dr. Hepburn’s years of service at the United Nations, where he served as Ambassador-at-large to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and as Ambassador to Haiti and Cuba and as Chairman of the National Commission of The Bahamas to UNESCO, the Governor General’s Youth Award Programme and the Antiquities, Monument and Museums Corporation, will allow him to “bring years of regional and international experience to the appointment.”“We are of the view that the Hotline is presently under-utilised by the public hence the need for a sustained public information campaign to continually remind persons of the availability of all of the services offered at the national level,” Mrs. Griffin said.
“Dr. Hepburn’s reputation is known both locally and internationally and we anticipate him bringing his wealth of knowledge, exposure and experience to the forefront in order to inundate the society with information on the purpose of the Hotline, and the timely services it offers for the benefit of residents and even visitors to our shores,” Mrs. Griffin added.
Dr. Hepburn said while he already has a “number of ideas” to put forth to ensure that the Hotline’s numbers (322-2763 or 422-2763) are embedded in the minds of every Bahamian, it is going to take a cumulative effort from Bahamian society – including assistance from individual companies, families, church and civil organisations, etcetera, - to bring it all together.
“When I first heard about the National Hotline, I immediately saw the importance of it; how necessary it is for us to change the mindsets of Bahamians with respect to some of the issues that we have,” Dr. Hepburn said. “I also know that there is no way that any one person can do the kind of work necessary. This is not a game we are playing; we are here to get this work done and I have been pleased with the planning that has gone into getting the word out.”
Dr. Hepburn said one of his short- term goals is to make the Hotline “a user friendly term and household word and number for all Bahamians.”
“I cannot stress that enough. We are going to be very active in getting the word out, in making the numbers for the national hotline embedded in the minds of every Bahamian everywhere.“We are going to flood this country with information. Repetition is a very good thing (because) it stays in people’s minds. There are going to be some great things come out of this programme,” Dr. Hepburn added.
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