Lotoya Andrews is a Forensic Psychologist who works at Blossom Inc.—a non-governmental organization and children’s charity that aims to provide support to Guyana’s child protection system, and to children and families affected by trauma.
In November 2022, Latoya attended the SPAR Project’s three-day Strengths-Based Resilience (SBR) training in Georgetown on behalf of Blossom Inc. Since Latoya’s participation in the session, she has used her newly acquired knowledge and skills to positively impact and shift the course of her personal and professional life.
Lotoya expressed that prior to attending the resilience training she had been experiencing a lot of tension and worry, and found herself unable to recognise the reasons for her feelings. This, expectedly made coping with everyday life activities very challenging for her. However, Lotoya indicated that the resilience training has improved her ability to be keener in her awareness and listening skills, and molded her into someone who is now more thoughtful and considerate of others.
On the professional front, Lotoya has adapted the interactive modules into her therapy sessions with clients, which, according to her, has ultimately led to a significant improvement in her output at work. She is now able to find better solutions for the numerous challenges that people, including herself, face on a daily basis.
“I think the most significant change is where I have incorporated the lessons learned in the training into my self-care plan, and shared with my colleagues, the importance of sharing their feelings and finding the best solution. Further, I am more alert of my surroundings, recognising how my actions can affect others both negatively and positively,” Lotoya expressed.
One of the greatest challenges that Guyana faces as a nation is the negative perception and stigma that surrounds Mental Health. This concern is close to Lotoya’s heart, and is main thing that she desires to see changed. Grateful for the exposure and training from the Strengths-Based Resilience program, Lotoya is able to make greater steps towards finding solutions to this challenge through her work.