The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. (VPHCS) is currently implementing a project that benefits families affected by Typhoon Yolanda in the northern part of Cebu.
The project, Integrating Community Resiliency Model (CRM) in Community-based Health Program (CBHP) in ten villages in northern Cebu affected by Typhoon Yolanda is funded by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), a human rights organization based in Massachusettes, U.S.A. and working in more than a dozen countries worldwide. UUSC fosters social justice and advances human rights, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies.
The six-month project which starts in October 2014, addresses the mental health in the ten communities through application of the Community Resiliency Model (CRM) so that the residents can help themselves and help others as well.
The ten communities include Barangays Patao, Lipayran and Kampinganon, Municipality of Bantayan, Barangay San Augustin, Municipality of Madridejos, Barangays Baterya, Malbago and Tominhao in the Municipality of Daanbantayan, Barangay North Poblacion, Municipality of San Francisco, Barangay Cagcagan, Municipality of Puro and Barangay Puertobello, Municipality of Tudela.
CRM embodies a community-oriented approach that promotes independence, education about the biology of the human body and how it responds to traumatic events and most importantly, how to restore or enhance resiliency. CRM aims to “make the skills a part of healing in daily life, to increase a sense of one’s ability to help him/herself, to learn how to bring the body, mind and spirit into greater balance and to encourage people to pass the skills along to friends and loved ones.”
The ten barangays are all coastal communities where residents are poor fisherfolks and small farmers whose houses were severely damaged by Typhoon Yolanda and their means of livelihood were totally lost. Even before Yolanda struck, the residents were already wallowing in poverty and facing dire hardships to eke a living to feed their families. Yolanda aggravated their sufferings.
The ten barangays are among the 20 barangays which were served by the VPHCS during a previous project from February 2014 – April 2014, “Building resilient Communities in facing natural calamities – Phase I,” implemented by the Central Visayas Farmers Development Center (FARDEC) with the support of the Action Aid. The VPHCS provided psychosocial services to survivors of the typhoon, as part of the relief, shelter, livelihood and rehabilitation services in the project. It also organized people’s organizations including formation of working committees on disaster preparedness.
In the ten barangays are residents who showed signs of mental stress and psychosocial trauma that needed to have continued psychosocial intervention.
The project shall provide trainings of community health workers in the ten communities that shall enable them to have basic CRM skills to help their residents return back to resiliency, recover from any trauma and promote their mental health.
It aims to develop “trauma-informed” and “resiliency-informed” communities in the ten barangays where residents share a common understanding of the impact of trauma on the nervous system and how resiliency can be restored using this skills-based approach.
Prior to the community-based trainings, the VPHCS staff members and volunteers shall also undergo trainings on CRM, who shall then train the community health workers and apply their skills in the course of providing primary health care services in the programs of the VPHCS.