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Celebration of Wellness

The Ministry of Health and Human Services is starting the New Year by encouraging all residents to take a new outlook, to focus on their well-being in 2009. From Monday, January 19th through Friday, January 23rd, the Ministry has organized a "Celebration of Wellness Week" that will strive to remind the public to reflect and act on the various dimensions of well-being.

The week will be launched with a ceremony on the lawn of the Government Administration Building on Monday, January 19th from 12:00-1:30pm at which time the Ministry's new logo, its mission statement and strategic goals will be unveiled. The launching ceremony will run from 12:00-12:30pm followed by a reception at which refreshments, information and give-aways will be available. All members of the public are invited to attend, and even if they are not able to, to demonstrate a personal commitment to focusing on total well-being for 2009.

Speaking to the launching of the Ministry's new branding, Chief Officer Mrs. Diane Montoya stated, "The Ministry's overarching strategic goal is to develop a holistic approach to addressing human needs. We must get at the root causes of these situations, work across government, and join our partners in civil society, to enact real change. The responsibility of good governance lies more in how we manage our role as a change agent; a government must not be just a regulator or service provider."

The Celebration of Wellness Week will be focussing on the following aspects of wellness: Tuesday (January 20) physical well-being, Wednesday (January 21) social well-being, Thursday (January 22) emotional/mental well-being, and Friday (January 23) spiritual well-being and the National Day of Healing and Unity. Television appearances, radio discussions and newspaper articles will be featured each day, to highlight various aspects of these wellness dimensions.

Activities focusing on physical well-being will allow the public to access free health testing from 9:00am-12:00pm during the week, at the General Practice Clinic and all District Health Clinics. These will include blood pressure checks, blood sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI) testing. There will also be health education sessions at the General Practice Clinic, District Health Centres, and schools, and gym specials for the week have also been organized, through the generosity of an operator of a local fitness centre.

Wednesday's focus on social well-being will include a Parenting Workshop facilitated by the Empowerment and Community Development Agency (ECDA) that will discuss the importance of the family unit and its impact on social well-being. The workshop is being held at the Women's Resource Centre at 6:30pm, 21st January and for more information or to register contact 949-0006. Intergenerational activities with the Boy Scouts, Girls Brigade and elderly residents have also been organized.

A stress management workshop titled, "How to Achieve Balance in Your Life" will be held on Thursday, 22nd January from 7:00-9:00pm at The Counselling Centre, 3rd Floor, Flagship Building. For more information or to reserve your space for the workshop, please contact 949-8789. Another activity highlighting emotional and mental well-being will be an information session with at risk-boys that will focus on how to identify emotions, and how to manage emotions in a healthy manner.

Friday's focus on spiritual well-being will include a panel discussion on Radio Cayman's Talk Today that will explore how spirituality and spiritual wellbeing is interwoven with artistic expression and the cultural evolution of a community, from 12:00- 2:00pm.

The National Day of Healing and Unity will also be observed on Friday, 23rd January. The purpose of the National Day of Healing and Unity is to broadly recognize the cumulative psychological and spiritual impact of national level traumas, such as the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts and Hurricane Paloma, as well as accumulated individual level traumas, such as deaths, divorces, car accidents or other sources of violence or grief, have had on the citizens and residents of the Cayman Islands.

In observance of this Day, the public is encouraged to maintain one minute of silence at 11:00am. During the moment of silence, all activities should cease. Organisers suggest that the minute be utilized to say a silent prayer, hold hands with another person/group or mentally focus on what individual actions can be taken, to heal from the various traumas experienced. Since the colour white is symbolic of peace, reverence and spirituality, the public is also encouraged to wear white clothing on this day to represent their observance of the day, and a commitment to moving forward in 2009 in a peaceful and positive manner.

All churches have also been invited through the Minster's Association to focus their services, or invite their congregations to pray and reflect, on messages of healing and unity during the weekend of 23rd- 25th January.

For more detailed information on the events for the Celebration of Wellness Week, please visit www.gov.ky, call 244-2318 or email h&hs@gov.ky .