In a formal academic ceremony held at the City Council, 112 graduates received their diploma as Substance Abuse Prevention Experts and Therapeutic Rehabilitation Assistants. This was the second group of graduates from the Substance Abuse Program that Nuevo Comodoro Foundation has operated since 2014 with the support from Pan American Energy, YPF, Tecpetrol, the provincial and local governments, the Education Ministry, Banco del Chubut and the City Council from Comodoro Rivadavia.
Attendees included Carlos Linares, the city mayor; Carlos Catalá, the Head of the local Health Department; representatives from the oil companies, and authorities from the different institutions involved in the projects implemented by Nuevo Comodoro Foundation during 2015.
On this occasion, 82 Substance Abuse Prevention Experts and 30 Therapeutic Rehabilitation Assistants trained during 2015 graduated from the training course, in addition to the 44 participants who graduated in 2015.
The course for Substance Abuse Prevention Experts was conducted from September to December 2015; Pan American Energy and the Education Ministry joined forces with Nuevo Comodoro Foundation and its team of specialists to develop an action plan to combat drug abuse from different perspectives and to focus especially on prevention at school. The course is recognized by the Education Ministry and grants professional development points to those enrolled, and targets teachers and school managers (from the second cycle of primary school and secondary school), hall monitors and other administrative staff, as well as advanced students from teacher training colleges.
The course was originally designed with the goal of training 60 substance abuse professionals, but the number of enrolments quickly rose to 352. Therefore, considering the initial response to this edition, the decision was made to have two work committees with 60 participants each.
Second Edition of the Course for Therapeutic Rehabilitation Assistants
Nuevo Comodoro Foundation has also conducted a course for Therapeutic Rehabilitation Assistants since 2014. This is a program that seeks to train human resources in substance abuse prevention and treatment and was developed with oil operators Pan American Energy, YPF, and Tecpetrol, the municipality of Comodoro Rivadavia, the City Council from Comodoro Rivadavia and Banco del Chubut. The course is delivered by ADC Foundation (Darío Gigena Parker, MD and Social Psychologist Alicia Gigena Parker, with different substance abuse specialists joining them at each individual session) and is endorsed by the National University of Córdoba. It promotes a local approach, with the participation of specialists from the province. This year, a total of 26 participants who attended the course regularly will receive their diplomas and will become the second group of graduate Therapeutic Rehabilitation Assistants trained thanks to Nuevo Comodoro Foundation.
First Hand Experience
Cecilia Nieto, who received her diploma as a Therapeutic Rehabilitation Assistant and gave a speech during the graduation ceremony, talked about the therapeutic assistant competencies and the practical application of the tools acquired during the training. "When I enrolled, I did so thinking that I would acquire the necessary tools to provide support to the people or their families who have lost their way and are silently crying out for help; they need a Therapeutic Rehabilitation Assistant to be able to visualize, accept and help them start writing a new story. Knowing what a motivational interview consists in and how important assertive communication is are part of the set of tools that I received from a team of professionals that are passionate about providing a ray of hope to a group of people that share their spirit: love for our community and love for life."