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Training on psychosocial support

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 The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services,  (VPHCS) Inc. recently conducted a basic facilitators training on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to be able to render psychosocial services to survivors of the Oct. 15 earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda in northern towns of Cebu and Bohol.The training was participated in by volunteers including doctors, nurses, nursing students, psychologists and psychology students in the Institute of Religion and Culture on Jan. 4 – 5, 2014.

The training was supported by the Fil-Am Center for Community Health and Development (FACCHD) based in Pleasanton, California, the Filipino American Physicians of Washington, FAITH Philippines and NW Mission of Hope based in the United States. All groups have linked up with the VPHCS in their mission to render support to the survivors of the typhoon.

Speakers and resource persons in the training included Ma. Antonella Codeneira, psychologist of the Center for Behavioral Sciences of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Emmanuel Hernani, psychology professor, guidance counselor and Dean of Student Affairs of the Cebu Normal University, and psychologist Gilbert Kagakit. The training was facilitated by Edgar Gahisan, a community health nurse and community mental health and psychiatric nurse, a former clinical instructor and now team leader for the Magna Children at Risk program on MHPSS in Daanbantayan, Cebu.

The training provided the participants with knowledge and skills to be able to render psychosocial services to survivors of the earthquake and typhoon in the Visayas areas. Topics included the following, namely: natural and human-induced disasters and complex emergencies within a psychosocial approach, self-awareness, well-being, resilience and coping, grief and grief processing, how to conduct a therapeutic interview, facilitation and communication skills, psychological first aid, psychosocial processing, protecting vulnerable groups, and group processing.

Workshops and role playing facilitated by the resource persons greatly expounded on the topics that were discussed.

The volunteers are expected to apply their knowledge and skills in upcoming psychosocial services in areas affected by the typhoon in Cebu, Bohol and Leyte.

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