The rising concerns that CUMI will be closing down post the impending departure of its biggest champion, Nurse Joy Crooks, who has been with the institution since its inception, is but a farce and farfetched assumption.
In an exclusive interview with the Western Mirror Crooks attempted to set the record straight by dispelling all qualms regarding the future of the institution. “We’d like to reassure the public that CUMI will not be closing, but it will continue to deliver services with a new person as the head of CUMI,” she said.
A founding member of the institution that was launched in the early 1990s, Crooks announced last year that she will be leaving CUMI and Jamaica for London sometime this year. It has not yet been decided who will take her place or when she will depart.
“I might be leaving, but that does not mean that CUMI is closing down. It will continue to deliver service to the community. Yes, they are currently having difficulties replacing me, but they are still trying to fill the vacancy. CUMI has become a very important part of mental health recovery. If they were to close, there would be a gaping hole in the community delivery of mental health services.”
She was also keen to note that, “The organization is an independent entity separate and apart from Joy Crooks.” There is a Board of Directors to ensure that the mission, vision and goals of CUMI are being achieved. Therefore, if Crooks leaves, the task then becomes theirs in sourcing the next able and capable replacement to guarantee that the institution continues to carry out its duties to enable the mental rehabilitation of persons in Montego Bay and surrounding areas.
Further to that, Crooks is reminding persons that CUMI is a community-based non-government organization that continues to deliver services and will continue to do same long after she has left.
A philanthropist at heart, Crooks is appealing to persons to contribute to CUMI’s cause. “If they want CUMI to continue, they should support it in order to use it to the best of its ability. CUMI is not here because of Joy Crooks and it is not hers. It belongs to Montego Bay,” she said.
One way in which the organization keeps afloat financially is through the CUMI Come Run. CUMI Come Run is the organization’s major fundraising event and will this year undertake its tenth annual 5K Run/Walk and10K Run which will be held on September 22 at the Tryall Club in Hanover. In addition to that, the institution welcomes donations all year round. This can be done on their website at www.cumimobay.org. Registration for the CUMI Come Run can be done online at runningeventsja.com.