Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Local nurse launches "Radio Head" mental health initiative

As a community psychiatric nurse (CPN), Dympna Carten has long recognized the importance of radio from the perspective of mental health and well being. In this light, she has spearheaded a campaign by the name of "Radio Head" to donate radios to the most vulnerable in Cayman.

"I have been a proponent of radio assisting as a therapeutic intervention for those who are alone, bored and  suffering mentally or physically. Radio is about companionship and the emotional connection with the listener. It can be a great distraction, can stimulate memories  of sweet reverie, encourage hope in troubled times and help us fall asleep at night," says Carten who is an HSA Community Psychiatric Nurse. 

"Radio plays a crucial role  in today’s ever-changing  world, it is a great educator and in particular for those who are not advanced in modern technology. Radio has proved its merit in times of national emergency e.g. during Hurricanes Ivan and Paloma, fires, road traffic accidents,  earthquakes of the past and most recently January 2020, when many of us were huddled together, glued to little transistors desperate to hear all the updates. Even in the absence of electricity or if the phone lines go down a battery charged/ solar cranked radio will still operate, keeping us advised and reducing our anxieties and fears," says Carten of the functionality of radios.

"Radio keeps us abreast of societal events, announces election results, informs us of deaths in our community, gives voice to local  concerns, galvanizes actions,  streams church services to the housebound,  and rings in the new year with resounding bells  inspiring hope and joyful days  ahead. Radio is an  easy to use, a reputable news source and is alive." 

In light of these many benefits, Carten spearheaded the "Radio Head" initiative to provide radios to Cayman's most vulnerable people: the elderly and those with chronic mental health conditions, so that they can be kept informed and entertained during the pandemic and now that we are in the  hurricane season.

"In my role as a CPN I am more than familiar with peoples everyday struggles, I  am afforded the pleasure of visiting their homes and know that radio is sometimes a luxury they can ill afford," explains Carten.  "It is in that vein that I am reaching out to the wider community for assistance in donating small radios to this effort," she explains.

"Radio Head" has received 35 donated radios to date, 15  from a corporate sponsor and the rest privately, which  she was able to pass on to patients and in collaboration with Department of Children & Family Services.

Loop readers are asked to donate to this initiative if possible or to forward to friends and family who may be able to contribute.

To donate a radio to ‘Radio Head’, please contact Dympna Carten RMN at Dympnacarten@hotmail.com  or 244-2650.

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