Community-Based Psychological First Aid Training of Trainers was successfully organized on 16-20 November 2015 at Kathmandu. Twenty-nine participants were invited for ToT from the faculties of psychology departments in Tribhucan University (Kirtipur, Tri Chandra and Padma Kanya Campuses), MPhil in Clinical Psychology, TUTH and psychologists/counselors working in various national and international organizations (ICRC, Nepal Red Cross Society, MdM France, TPO Nepal, Chhahari, Koshish Nepal, CMC, CVICT ) helping the earthquake survivors through MHPSS programs. This ToT has further enhanced the capacity of Nepali professionals to respond to emergencies by training the members of the community to support one another and meet psychosocial needs. Such approach is particularly important in our country because there is scarce trained human resource in MHPSS field and community-based interventions are more sustainable and effective.
I would like to thank Prof. Shanta Niraula and Sandesh Dhakal from Tribhuwan University for their support in organizing this training. Special thanks to Dr. Merry Bullock from American Psychological Association (APA) for supporting Gerard Jacobs (Jerry) & Sam Manickam to come to Nepal for the training.
Jerry did a great job by explaining each theoretical concept with his field experience and many interesting examples. I really liked the session on ‘Sense of Place’ and the experience he shared related with it. During emergencies and after that, the helping organizations might think it is just enough to build the shelters for the people but they might miss on reestablishing a “Sense of Place” for them which is important to reinforce their ability to cope with changes, give them the sense of stability and belonging. I noticed this when I went to IDP camps in Rasuwa where the people had hovered the Buddhist prayer flags around the area to mark their settlement and I learnt from the locals that it helped them to be strong as a community.
I have attached herewith his article The Development and Maturation of Humanitarian Psychology for those who are interested in disaster mental health, also includes his short biography which was published when he was given International Humanitarian Award by APA in 2007.
Mention of this event in APA 2015 annual report (p.36 and 37): 2015-report-APA