“You only know what you know, and you don’t know what you don’t know” … is a quote from Public Health Practitioner Abby Charles as she shares her views with Caribbean Wellness.
Abby is a Trinidadian working in the US since 2006 supporting public health in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. She is also the founder of Bene Caribe, a conscious fashion brand “where ethical consumption and a colourful Caribbean spirit threads the fabric of each piece.”
In this conversation, Abby talks about the stigmatization of mental health and the importance of staging discussions about mental health in Trinidad and Tobago. Apart from normalizing conversations about mental health, there is a need to raise awareness by intensifying the country’s promotional education campaigns.
She talks about using social media as a communications platform but reminds us of the importance of persons in the community being trained to have accurate conversations about mental health and wellness. Abby describes herself as “a solutions finder and an advice giver” but warns that most times people don’t want advice, they just need to talk, and our role would be to be great listeners without judging.
When her friends reach out, she often asks: “Which type of friend do you want right now? Do you want a friend who’s gonna listen? Do you want a friend who’s gonna share some recommendations? Do you want a friend that’s gonna connect you to resources? What are you looking for?”
In all that we do, let’s be mindful that everyone needs a therapist from the time they’re born.
Even the therapist needs a therapist.