Bahamas Association for Social Health marks 30th anniversary

Bahamas Association for Social Health marks 30th anniversary
Members of the Bahamas Association for Social Health (BASH), a non-profit civil society organization, mark its 30th anniversary on Friday, January 10, 2021. (PHOTO: BASH)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas Association for Social Health (BASH), a non-profit civil society organization, on Friday marked its 30th anniversary.

For 30 years, the organization has provided thousands of clients and their families with substance use disorder behavioral health treatment and intensive rehabilitation.

BASH was founded by Terry K Miller to provide safe access to community detox and recovery services to help and protect those struggling with the stigma of traditional inpatient care.

With a relentless commitment to what he describes as his “calling”, Miller led the first ten clients to the rustic, long-abandoned home on the hill overlooking Three Island Dock and the deep tranquil waters between North Eleuthera and Harbour Island, which they called Discovery Hill, On January 10, 1991.

Since then, thousands of substance abusers and their families have received life-sustaining help from the programme, and more than 300 men ranging in age from 20 to 70
have successfully graduated from the six to 24-month residential treatment program.

The program, now based on New Providence, currently serves individuals referred by the courts, other treatment programmes, the Department of Social Services, employers and families with issues ranging from illicit drug possession, driving under the influence and working under the influence, among others. Clients can access services for alcohol, marijuana and cocaine while acquiring life skills, good nutrition habits and more.

Miller commented: “Over the years, we have developed a somewhat unique, and effective, treatment model that incorporates the 12-step principles of Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Therapeutic Community model, our unique mix of cognitive behavioral therapy and rational emotive behavioral therapy, spiritual therapy and family therapy.

“After 30 years, I am proud of the peaceful and nurturing culture that we have been able to create, the number of families we have been able to help repair the wounds of addiction and the love and appreciation expressed by our supporters, who have had a significant impact on our survival.

“We have also increased our numbers from 16 beds in North Eleuthera to 28 beds at our present Recovery Way site.”

During this time, BASH has partnered with forward-thinking, supportive organizations to elevate staff professional credentials, increase services to Bahamian communities, enhance the organization’s brand and create income-generating projects for self-sustainability.

The organization said that in doing so, it has maintained “very strong client retention and staff satisfaction”.

Miller continued: “I am grateful to God for his guidance, and I am somewhat proud of what we have been able to accomplish over the past three decades under very challenging conditions.

“I can now identify with the famous prose: ‘We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.’ For me, this is a significant milestone that speaks not to the work of Terry Miller, but to the love and power of almighty God, without whom, none of this would have been possible.”

Moving forward, the organization plans to expand its services and development, including the creation of the BASH Youth-Build-A-Skill programme; collaborative partnerships with Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, the University of The Bahamas and others; a Detox Center Certification; program accreditation; and telehealth, website and social media upgrades.

As part of its 30-year anniversary, BASH will be celebrating for the entire month of January. Activities will be planned online and using live media talk shows and broadcasts.

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