IsraAID Mental Health and Psychosocial support (MHPSS) specialist and Dr. Jimmy Obed conducted multiple MHPSS- PFA (Psychosocial First Aid) trainings in both Port Vila Central Hospital and the Northern Provincial Hospital on Santo.
The trainings were developed in close partnership with Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to strengthen capacity of Mental Health (MH) officers and Emergency Medical Team (EMT) members in response to the State of Emergency in Ambae.
The EMT team continues cycles of deployment every two weeks to offer care to those in evacuation centres on Ambae.
Each group of health care professionals trained consisted of both MH nurses, ER nurses,and intern doctors.
Participants received two intensive days of comprehensive and holistic tools and guidelines for MHPSS response to crises.
The first cohort of trained medical practitioners along with Dr. jimmy and IsraAID specialist will deploy with the EMT to Ambae to offer care and asses next level of intervention needs.
IsraAID is a leader in MHPSS interventions all over the world, harnessing Israeli know-how and expertise in MHPSS to develop tailor made programs reflecting local context.
In 2015 IsraAID first began it’s partnership with the MoH,and the Vanuatu Mental Health team led by Dr. Jimmy Obed,the country’s only psychiatrist. After Tropical Cyclone Pam IsraAID’s MHPSS team collaborated with Dr. Jimmy and MoH with the support of the World Health Organization to roll out a myriad of MHPSS capacity building interventions. This included PFA training intensive at the initial stage of the disaster, followed by a longer term training across all six provinces, which included participants from three layers of community carers: health care professionals, service providers and community leaders.
In 2018 IsraAID is further developing the organization’s partnership with Dr. Jimmy and the MoH to bring MHPSS tools and awareness to the provinces and create sustainability through various intervention programs. With the support of the WHO the team will conduct MHGAP-PSS awareness and capacity building workshops, addressing both clinical and community levels of care givers and service providers.
Jerry Laurel, MoH National MH Coordinator is working with IsraAID and Dr. Jimmy to ensure implementation of Training of Trainers (ToT) program in the near future led by IsraAID, in which Dr. Jimmy’s team of MH nurses will be trained to facilitate capacity building and professional development for healthcare professionals in the provinces. Focusing on strengthening community support infrastructures and resiliency during times of crisis.
In addition, the team will collaborate with the Vanuatu College of Nursing Education to develop MHPSS education modules for the nursing college curriculum, ensuring each graduating class of nurses possess confidence and tools to offer support to their patients.