Training in mental health and psychosocial support in the community
The Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia hosted a 5-day interactive training for community-based mental health and psychosocial support in the period of 4 – 8 December, 2023, in Struga. The overall goal of the training was to support national societies in Central and Southeast Europe to build their capacity to support people affected by the international armed conflict in Ukraine. The training was organized by the delegation of the IFRC Cluster for Central and Southeast European countries in cooperation with the IFRC Reference Center for Psychosocial Support. The training was attended by 9 National societies: Red Cross societies from North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Turkish Red Crescent.
In line with their auxiliary role and in response to growing humanitarian needs, the RCRC societies in the Cluster respond to the mental health and psychosocial support needs of people affected by emergencies, displaced persons, refugees and others in need. Since the beginning of the armed conflict in Ukraine, staff and volunteers in the Cluster have been providing mental health and psychosocial support to displaced persons. With the escalation of the armed conflict in Ukraine already in its second year, the impact on the mental health of people affected by the conflict is growing and national societies aim to further expand their capacities and move from psychological first aid during an immediate response to long-term community-based mental health and PSS activities needed to support recovery of the population from traumatic experiences.
This training aims to enhance the mental health and psycho-social support capacity of national societies, ensure sustainability and promote the quality of psycho-social support interventions. Specifically, the training allowed the participants to further develop their technical and facilitation skills and, at the same time, to exchange experiences and good practices within the framework of mental health.