The Trinidad and Tobago Association of Psychologists (TTAP) hosted their second annual Social Event 2019 at the Trinidad Hilton on July 7th. In attendance were over 120 mental health professionals and associates, including ParentingTT and Soroptimist International who gathered at the Belmont Salon to pay tribute to the organization’s past presidents and to indulge in an array of tasty cuisine and invigorating conversation. President Elect Wendy Jeremie was the master of ceremonies and started the event with a warm and jovial welcome address.
TTAP Treasurer Camille Campbell led the room in prayer before President Dr. Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor introduced the event’s theme “The Power of You” with an inspiring speech. She emphasized the role of psychologists in maintaining the success and relevance of TTAP in relation to mental health issues in our nation. She stated that “Our movements have to be intentional, directed and achieved by hard work, and especially by selfless commitment”. She encouraged fellow psychologists to serve wholeheartedly and to make an impactful difference to the mental wellbeing of those in our society. Ending her speech on theme, Dr. Nakhid-Chatoor said, “The only power that people have over you, is the power that you give them. Believe in yourself and in what you can be!”
Immediate Past President Dr. Katija Khan also addressed the newly inducted psychologists, urging them to prepare for purposeful execution of their role. She encouraged them to harness the ‘power of you’ and to be active through participation, service and advocacy. “We are only strong through our team and can only continue to be strong through the combined efforts of psychologists from different backgrounds, sub-fields and experience levels”. She continued, “We must work together to fulfil our mandate to contribute to the wellbeing of our society in Trinidad and Tobago, the region and the larger global landscape”.
Dr. Indera Sagewan, distinguished economist and television host, was the guest speaker for the evening. She commanded the room’s attention with a rousing, heart-felt and moving speech, which described her arduous road to success and her survival in the face of numerous adversities. In keeping with the theme, Dr. Sagewan inspired the audience to never give up hope and to use their hardships to build resilience and to achieve success.
A power point presentation on the work of TTAP’s pioneering past presidents was narrated by Jefferson Jurawan and Lisa Lalsingh. These pioneers were then summoned by Assistant Secretary Victoria Siewnarine-Geelalsingh to be awarded with a certificate and token, in honour of their service to their country and to the field of psychology. The Past presidents included former Independent Senator, Laila Valere, Dr. Karen Moore, Karin Hatch, Dr. Diane Douglas, Kareen Ramcharitar, Marcia Tappin-Boxill, Anna Maria Mora, Cheyvonne Cyrus-Williams and Dr. Katija Khan. Dr. Keith Lequay and Dr. Sean Stephens flew in from Jamaica and the USA respectively, to attend this auspicious occasion. Clinical psychologist and past TTAP President, Ms. Waveney Richards returned a vote of thanks on behalf of her stalwart colleagues, and urged practicing psychologists to avoid being distracted by everyday relational challenges and band together for the progress of the field and the betterment of the country.
Ending the formal part of the evening, TTAP’s Public Relations Officer, Kelly McFarlane offered a final vote of thanks and a reminder to all present, to practice gratitude with each other. She encouraged the room to join her in repeating the phrase, “Thank you for being you!”
Kelly Mc Farlane
Public Relations Officer
Trinidad & Tobago Association of Psychologists