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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » A “TEEN HUB” IS OPENED IN THE HALF-WAY-TREE TRANSPORT CENTER!

A “TEEN HUB” IS OPENED IN THE HALF-WAY-TREE TRANSPORT CENTER!

Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton (center); and State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green (right), cut the ribbon to open ‘Teen Hub’ in the Half-Way Tree Transport Center, St Andrew on November 28. Others (from left) are St Andrew Technical High School student Jerome Reynolds; Acting Director, Health Services, Planning and Integration in the Ministry of Health, Dr Simone Spence; and Caribbean Regional Director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Dr Kevin Harvey. —

Adolescents who use the Half-Way-Tree Transport Center in St Andrew will have a safe space where they can do homework and conduct research, and benefit from counselling and other services.

The newly renovated space, dubbed ‘Teen Hub’, is a collaborative effort of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. It is equipped with computers and other technology tools, and counselling staff will be available provide guidance and healthcare information.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton said projects like Teen Hub will play a vital role in helping to address issues facing young people, including crime, teen pregnancies, substance abuse, and suicides. He noted that in addition to the computers, printers, televisions, educational video materials and closed-circuit cameras, the facility is also equipped with a counselling room to facilitate voluntary and confidential counselling, HIV testing, as well as mental health support. Peer educators, he said, will be available Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.

“Not to be ignored is the need for the maintenance of healthy lifestyle choices, which include avoiding harmful substances. These issues will also be addressed through the available channels here at the hub,” he pointed out.

School Children

School Children

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, noted that adolescence is a time when individuals tend to become engaged in risky practices, hence the need for interventions such as Teen Hub.

“It is during this period that interventions become necessary in order to guide the teens, and this is why this hub and the support systems that are going to be put in place will be vital,” he said.

He further noted that the collaborative effort with the Health Ministry is particularly fruitful at a time when attention has to be paid to the overall well-being of Jamaica’s youth.

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