Categorized | National News

‘More National Programmes Needed for Young Men’

The implementation of national programmes such as cadets, similar to the Defence Force Rangers, and the likes could be a tool that can be a diversion for at risk young men, those who find themselves gravitating toward gangs, according to noted psychiatrist Dr. David Allen.

Appearing as a guest on Love 97’s Issues of The Day, with CEO and host Wendall Jones, Dr. Allen gave comments and answered questions on what one caller termed a timely topic: ‘Anger and Violence in the Society.’

Responding to a caller who called in to the show, Dr. Allen said he had been advocating for programmes like these for a long time.

“As you know in the past ten years, I have developed a kind of 12 point about crime. The first thing calling for this Citizen Advisory Council for microcosm of all the people and one of the key things was a National Anger Management Programme, but also how we can use and develop a very powerful national training situation for young men.

“We could use the cadets, like the Defence Force Cadets Programme, [it is] excellent, that could be a model for national service,” Dr. Allen said.

He further went on to say that many of the uniform branches of the government or government agencies could also incorporate programmes that would enhance the lives of today’s young men.

“You [government] could have cadets in immigration. You could have cadets in healthcare. You could have cadets in agriculture,” Dr. Allen said.

“It could start very, very easily and the kids would be learning something and [be] put to work because the devil always finds something for idle hands to do.”

Without fail, gangs and violence lead to an increase in crime year after year, and according to Dr. Allen, anger is at the root it.

Given his expertise in the field, Dr. Allen further went on to explain to those listening that anger in young men and even women stems from issues synonymous with wanting to be accepted.

“They feel like they are not a part of Bahamian life. They feel abandoned, rejected and humiliated,” Dr. Allen said.

On the show, Dr. Allen said he has seen men, as young as 10-years-old, resort to violence all because of the lack of father figures which he concluded that gangs fill that void in their lives.

“If you study what’s happening in crime, you will see that the young boys between 10-13 [years] are now in turf wars going to school. They get involved in rock wars and many fights in school.

“They don’t have a father at home. The mother works two and three jobs. The gang has now become the father of the young Bahamian boy.

“But it’s a perverse rescue.  It’s a false sell because the gang provides some kind of shelter, but at the same time the boys don’t agree they then get hurt. ‘

“So, it’s a perverse rescuer,” Dr. Allen said.

Many of these young men have received help by way of counseling through Dr. Allen’s program, The Family: People Helping People program.

The programme offers individual and group counseling and now comprises over 20 groups throughout New Providence.

His counseling addresses issues such as anger, loss, grief and the roots of violent crime and addiction.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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