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CFSI heeds LDS service providers in mental health, psychosocial support training

MARANTAO, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–Magnifying the so-called hidden victims every time disasters hit, the non-government organization Community and Family Services International (CFSI) gathered service providers from its seven service sites in the province of Lanao del Sur to involve them in a two-day basic mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) training.

Among the partakers were MHPSS focal persons from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MCSWDO), rural health units (RHUs), the Philippine National Police (PNP) particularly the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), the Department of Education (DepEd), and barangay chairpersons.

CFSI Psychosocial Support Officer Amal Edres underscored that the training tackled fundamental things that should be noted when responding to emergency cases, thus, adding more knowledge and skills which may be applied in the actual execution of urgent interventions in their respective communities even amid the global health crisis.

Moreover, such an event would likewise help service providers manage their stress, especially those suffering from vicarious trauma or a negative reaction to trauma exposure.

“Naabsorb natin ang different stresses na shineshare sa atin ng ating clients. Dapat alam din natin kung paano magcope sa mga ganoon na hindi natin nadadala ang stress galing sa work hanggang sa bahay at family,” she said.

[We absorb different stresses shared with us by our clients. We should also know how to cope with this so that we will not carry the stress from work to our home and family.]

Through the Marawi COVID Recovery Project (MCRP) and the funding of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian government, the CFSI has been conducting MHPSS training in Marawi City and six other towns, namely Piagapo, Marantao, Ramain, Butig, Lumbayanague and Masiu wherein at least 30 service providers are expected to participate in the city while municipalities are to be joined by at least 20 participants.

Edres shared that while they see mental health as one of the aspects not given much attention, they would continue to lead this initiative as they aim to instill awareness of the available relevant services provided to communities, teach the public about safe interaction with others, and let them know about social networks that can help facilitate their recovery from disasters and COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlighting their good intention to their target communities, the psychosocial support officer was optimistic that whatever the participants learned from the two-day basic MHPSS training, they would cascade it to the people in their places.

“Gusto namin ang impact nito ay ma-adopt siya sa community. Bukod sa willingness nila na umattend, sana pumasok sa puso at isipan nila ang importance ng mental health and psychosocial support,” she said.

[The impact that we want is that this would be adopted by the community. Aside from their willingness to attend, I hope that the importance of mental health and psychosocial support gets to their heart and mind.] (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

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