Psychosocial Programmes in the Jaffna District

Project Psychosocial Programmes in the Jaffna District
Objectives

• To implement relevant interventions by developing the capacity of youths volunteers on psychosocial programmes in selected villages • To create core groups in four resettled locations in the Jaffna district, where medical programmes are being implemented

Project Partners Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA)
Activities

• Training and capacity building programmes • Direct Interventions by Psychosocial Core Group in the villages

Locations Jaffna District
Period July 2012 to February 2013
Accomplishments

• 3 training sessions on basic counselling skills and techniques for community psychosocial workers • Creation of four core groups to work with conflict-affected people • Coordination with government on psychosocial programmes • Distribution of handouts and reading material on psychosocial awareness and services • Formation of a database of psychosocial resources and patient records

Background

After the successful implementation of outreach medical programmes for over the last two years, following the conflict and tsunami affected Jaffna District: MERCY Malaysia identified the need for psychosocial interventions in the villages where primary medical support was provided. Records showed a number of patients with psycho-somatic complaints seeking psychosocial interventions.

MERCY Malaysia efforts

The psychosocial programme was carried out for five months as part of the health programme in the Jaffna district in 2012. The key aim of the programme was to implement relevant interventions by developing the capacity of youth volunteers in each village. They were motivated and supported to be effectively involved in educating the community and to support the people for referrals and follow ups. A series of training sessions were conducted for core group members and upper level staff, who are working in the field of psychosocial and mental health in the Jaffna district. Several topics were covered in the training, including the disaster recovery cycle, neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms, development of psychosocial education materials and managing stress and burnout among staff. The topics were presented in an interactive methods, such as role-play, group work and simulations.