Overview

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Three Young Black Women  laughing and smiling

A culture of body dissatisfaction seems to be on a rampant increase in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Consequently, healthcare professionals and academics are very concerned about the following trends which are showing an increase:
    •    Eating Disorders
    •    Disordered Eating Patterns
    •    Obesity
    •    Skin Bleaching
The above-mentioned practices may result in an increase in mortality and morbidity in the respective Caribbean populations hence the need for targeted interventions.

Though the initial focus of the symposium was on body dissatisfaction, the conference examines other mental health challenges including but not limited to trauma, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, consequences of insufficient sleep, among others. This conference also facilitates a call of assistance from the international community to improve their cultural competence when treating Caribbean immigrants.

The development of a healthy body image in the Caribbean can only be made possible through joint initiatives across disciplines. As such, the formation of alliances between Caribbean nations, the diaspora, and other international communities augurs well for continued training and education, research, advocacy, and policy making.