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Treatment centre to be named after Nelson Bascome

Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley received a loud round of support yesterday when he disclosed the new substance abuse treatment centre in Dockyard will be named the Nelson Bascome Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment.

“The late Honourable Member was dedicated to the treatment of addicts and began his career in 1980 in the Department of Social Services as a residential care worker,” said the Minister.

“In 1990 Nelson Bascome was the first Bermudian to be designated a Certified Employee Assistance Professional. He was also programme director for the Salvation Army’s Harbourlight programme and was among the first to qualify as a Certified Clinical Supervisor in 1997 and an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor.”

As the first Minister of Health under the Progressive Labour Party Government, Mr Dunkley said the late MP was responsible for the “promotion of the Alternatives to Incarceration initiative which is consistent with a career of restoring men and women to productive lives in this community”.

“This choice of name is unanimously supported by the Cabinet and we are leading by example in keeping the promise we made. Political differences are no barrier to the recognition of dedicated service.”

It is located on a site under a 21-year lease from Wedco and the “now completed conversion of the Captains-in-Charge building provides a long term, stable location for men’s and women’s treatment and expand the bed capacity to meet the demand for substance abuse treatment in the community”.

“Currently, there are 22 residential beds for males, ten of those provided by the Salvation Army’s Harbourlight programme. There are only eight residential treatment beds for women. The effect of this is to limit the length of treatment provided and creates a potential waiting-list for those in need of this kind of intensive attention,” said the Minister.

“The new facility increases the capacity for males from 12 to 24 for females from eight to 12. Additionally, the men’s treatment programme will now have the capacity to offer treatment for up to 12 months, similar to that already offered to women.

“Research supports the premise that the longer clients are engaged in treatment, the greater their likelihood of eventual success in recovery,” he added.

The Minister noted that the “completion of this project has been challenging”.

“Construction started in August 2009 and earlier this year it became apparent that some sense of urgency was required to impress upon internal and external service providers the need to finish the work.

“This had its desired effect as the Ministry received a Certificate of Completion and Occupancy on May 30; almost four years after construction began,” Mr Dunkley said.

“Having set out for members the treatment aims of the facility and also given an indication of its importance to substance abuse treatment in this community, it is only right that the name reflect those same goals and ideals.

“I am pleased to advise this House and the people of Bermuda that the facility will be known as ‘The Nelson Bascome Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment’.”

In closing he said: “We promised during the election campaign that we would ‘break down the walls of division in Bermuda for a future based on teamwork, tolerance and collaboration’.

“My hope is that members will attend as we mark a historic transition to a purpose-built facility aimed at treating the disease of addiction and recognising, in a truly meaningful way, the life’s commitment of a former member of this Honourable House.”

Former PLP Health Minister, the late Nelson Bascome

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Published June 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 15, 2013 at 1:17 am)

Treatment centre to be named after Nelson Bascome

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