Addiction care Conference in Aruba

The Aruba (Government) Gobierna di Aruba, FMAA Fundacion pa Manchio Addicion Aruba together with The Parnassia Bavo Group of the Netherlands organized a 3 day conference called ‘Addiction our Concern’ Working together on a new perspective.


The conference attracted 250 participants from the Antillean Islands, Suriname and the Netherlands and was opened by the Minister of Health and Sports of Aruba Dr. R. W. M. Visser. Dr. Sachin Gandotra Psychiatrist and Eileen Healy of the Mental Health Foundation, St. Maarten attended the conference.

Highlights of the conference were the developments in Addiction care, the cooperation within the Antilles in the new constellation, as well as prevention and research. Besides lectures; themes and workshops were organized e.g. for teachers, parents and students 14 years and older by Dr. Walburg (president of the supervisory board of the Trimbos institute) presided over the thematic meeting called "A Strong Mind" (Co-creating a younger peoples program for resilience)

Drs. Erik Jansen, Director of the Foundation Addiction Care and Psychiatry Dutch Caribbean and Dr. Cecile Gijsbers van Wijk, Pscyhiatrist and member of the supervisory board of the GGZ Rivierduinen Zuid-Holland, emphasized in their lecture on the cooperation with St. Maarten’s Mental Health Foundation for Saba and St. Eustatius. They complemented the MHF with regards to the quality of the cooperation as well as the care provided for by MHF and are looking forward to extend the cooperation agreement with MHF.

Interesting was also the Aruba Police presentation on maintaining order caused by the addicted.

The development of E-Learning and E-health was also part of the conference. For small scale Islands such as St. Maarten, where it extremely difficult to find qualified staff in psychiatry and addiction care e-learning and e-health can provide many opportunities. MHF (within the existing cooperation agreement with the Parnassia Bavo group) hopes to be able to participate in their curriculum development of e-education in order to be able to create more and better job opportunities for St. Maarten graduates from secondary education.