Anger Management Programme: a tool in the Min. of Social Service’s COVID response

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Dr. Eric Fox, an Anger Management and Temperance Consultant with Urban Renewal, working the phone in order to maintain contact with graduates and participants of Urban’s Anger Management and Temperance Programme, in addition to members of the general public, during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dr. Fox has also offered assistance to spouses, loved ones and family members of the graduates and participants. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Urban Renewal’s Anger Management and Temperance Programme is being used as yet another tool in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in The Bahamas. The thrust is being led by Dr. Eric Fox,an Anger Management and Temperance Expert and Consultant with the Urban Renewal Commission, who is utilizing various forms of social media and other communication networks to remain “in close contact” with graduates and participants of the Programme, in addition to members of the wider community. Dr. Fox also serves as Executive Director of Teen Challenge and has performed extensive work in the inner-city communities over the past 32 years.  

“Once an individual enters the Anger Management and Temperance Programme, we are connected for life,” Dr. Fox said. “The ability to stay connected is paying tremendous dividends for those persons needing our assistance as a result of some of the fall-out from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Dr. Fox said while the Government of The Bahamas’ stay at home policy is “an essential and necessary component” in the country’s efforts to stop/limit the community spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic throughout The Bahamas, there are persons who are having difficulty adjusting to being in close quarters over extended periods of time. “There are persons in our communities who are experiencing challenges in adapting to remaining in close confinement at home for extended periods of time as a result of the essential and necessary curfew and mandatory lockdown periods designed to stop the community spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic, while others are having to contend with the fall-out from reduced work hours, to losing their jobs,” Dr. Fox said.

“Follow-up therefore, is critical and so we have been utilizing all forms of social media and other communication networks as a means of providing follow-up for those persons who have graduated from the programme, those who are participants of the programme, and those persons in the community who may be experiencing anger management and temperance issues as they try to navigate this new situation. “We have also had a physical presence in the communities, utilizing all of the health and safety protocols established by the Ministry of Health – including the use of protective equipment, in addition to following the protocols relating to physical distancing.”

Dr. Fox said anger is an emotion that everyone has, but that some persons are better able to manage and/or contain their anger than others. Anger, he said, is an indication that there may be some other issues that could be impacting individuals. “It’s like driving your car and the Check Engine Light appears. The car didn’t shut off, but that Check Engine Light serves as a warning that something is wrong and that the possibility exists that the car can eventually shut down. Anger is similar. It is an indication that there is some deeper stuff going on inside that an individual needs to pay attention to and try to address and resolve before the anger becomes a danger.” Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, applauded Dr. Fox, his team, and officials at Urban Renewal for taking proactive approaches to addressing the various needs of the urban communities pre-, and particularly during, COVID-19.

“When you consider the anxiety and, in instances, the frustration stemming from persons who would have been placed on reduced work hours, to others who have completely lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, you would have a greater appreciation for the need to address their psychological needs, for the need to assist persons in remaining calm, for the need to assist persons in managing the various emotions that have come about as a result of the presence of the Pandemic,” Minister Campbell said. “That is the kind of value Dr. Fox and his Anger Management Programme is offering. It is our hope that more persons with those skills would offer more of those services to the wider community,” Minister Campbell added.

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