Training of basic psychosocial skills to health workers and protection (frontline) workers
In response to the recent earthquake, a three day basic psychosocial health worker training (July 30-August 1) funded by UNICEF (United Nations International Children Education Fund) was conducted in Hetauda, Makwanpur. These health workers consisted of twenty one FCHVs (Female Community Health Volunteers) and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives). The main objective of this training was to raise awareness of psychosocial and mental health problems among health workers. The topics that were covered were on what psychosocial and mental health problems are and strategies on how to cope with them effectively. Also, mechanisms on providing nearby hospital referral to those in need of psychiatric care were discussed.
When receiving feedback on the training, one auxiliary health worker claimed that he now knows how to interact with the clients. He felt that it improved his ability to communicate with the clients. In addition, an FCHV said that she finally understood that female conversion disorders have nothing to do with females bluffing about their condition and marrying them off is not always the solution. She now views this disorder in a new and much more supportive light.
Another three day basic psychosocial training (August 2-August 4), also funded by UNICEF, was provided to 22 frontline workers from nongovernmental organizations such as Maiti Nepal, CWIN, Shakti Samuha and ABC Nepal along with various local organizations. Psychosocial and mental health concepts such as stress, self care and effective communication skills were addressed through lectures and interactive group activities. The importance of integrating these concepts into the protection agenda was also highlighted.
These participants now claim they understand the importance of team work more when overcoming barriers to psychosocial and mental health problems.