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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Gov’t mental health services, university join forces on behalf of women in recovery


Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Mateo, fourth from the left, head of the Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration, stressed that a new collaborative agreement between his agency and Ana G. Méndez University “marks the beginning of a new chapter in public policy of treatment and rehabilitation, focused on recovery through the integration of the educational component and the development of technical skills that will serve as tools for the social integration of women in treatment.”

By The Star Staff


The Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA by its Spanish initials) and Ana G. Méndez University (UAGM) have established a collaborative agreement to promote and facilitate participation in the Women’s Residential Rehabilitation Program (PRRM) of ASSMCA to pursue technical studies at the institution of higher education, as part of their recovery process and full integration into the community.


ASSMCA’s PRRM, also known as the Women’s Residential Treatment Center, provides comprehensive rehabilitation services to women, age 18 and older, facing co-occurring substance disorders and other mental health illnesses.


The participants, for the most part, began their substance use at an early age, during adolescence or early adulthood, consequently affecting their lives in different areas such as education and vocation. The PRRM also assists participants in the search for employment by promoting their optimal growth and economic independence.


When signing the alliance this week, ASSMCA Administrator Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Mateo stressed that it “marks the beginning of a new chapter in public policy of treatment and rehabilitation, focused on recovery through the integration of the educational component and the development of technical skills that will serve as tools for the social integration of women in treatment.”


“ASSMCA and UAGM are committed to the well-being and success of each and every person who seeks help in our programs,” Rodríguez Mateo. “Through this agreement, we recognize the value of education in people’s lives, even more so in those facing challenges related to substance use. By strengthening coping skills and providing opportunities for education and later employment, this agreement seeks to minimize the recurrence of problems related to substance use and promote a sustainable recovery, so that they achieve an independent life.”


UAGM President José F. Méndez Méndez, meanwhile, highlighted the value of the effort, with which they reiterate the values of service to the community and the strengthening of the mental health of the human being.


“From our university community, we are excited to support this innovative initiative promoted by ASSMCA, which recognizes the importance of education for the integral development of the human being,” he said. “I am convinced that this will be the first of many other collaborations focused on promoting the integral well-being of our people.”


Through the agreement, participants will receive assistance in the process of completing the application for admission, scholarships and other aid if necessary. Also, the resources and the dates on which the training will be offered will be coordinated, a protocol will be developed focused on making the educational process a structured and organized experience, and spaces and accessibility to virtual and face-to-face classes will be provided to PRRM participants.


They will be provided with the necessary help to achieve their academic achievement so that they can complete the courses and will receive motivation and continuous support to complete the academic objectives established by the university and become certified as a specialist in any of the identified subjects.


According to studies, the rate of women with addictive disorders has been increasing over the years, approaching men’s prevalence rates of addiction, with women presenting a much more severe clinical profile at the time of being admitted to residential treatment.

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