Jun 11, 2020

Teaching About Crisis

Soule is a skilled training facilitator
Soule is a skilled training facilitator

Have you ever wondered what it's like in our mental health training seminars?

We want to give you a glimpse at one of the lessons. The whole seminar is 40 hours - but we're not about stuffy lectures. Here's a one-minute look at the lesson on crisis, from a seminar for church leaders in rural Togo (West Africa). The languages are French and Ewé, but we think you’ll understand.

Watch the video (1 min.)

You can try the lesson at home:

  1. First, stand next to another person, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Give each other a small push. You are able to withstand the pressure (stress) because you have a stable base. When we have most of your basic needs met, we can generally handle everyday stress.
  3. Next, stand on just one foot. When a crisis comes, everything gets turned upside down, and we have less stability.
  4. Push each other again (gently). What happens with that little push? You'll have a much harder time standing up! 

This demonstration shows how crisis affects us. Simple stressors and everyday actions we could normally handle may become very difficult. Understanding this can help us to respond appropriately during a crisis. 

This seminar was part of a collaboration with the Mercy Ships mental health program. The facilitators in this lesson, Samuel and Soulé, are pastors from Togo who have served on the mental health team for several years. 

What we're doing now

The mental health team has not been traveling since the end of March becase of coronavirus, but we've been working on video lessons, and we helped facilitate in Zoom calls with healthcare providers and church leaders to talk about stress and mental health concerns. 

Once things open up, Soulé will lead a seminar for a new group in Togo. Plans are also being made for training in Peru, and follow up with participants in Ecuador. We're also working on a special project in South Africa for incarcerated youth. 

Your support makes all of this possible! Thank you!

A lesson on crisis
A lesson on crisis


Dec 27, 2019

Here's what you did for mental health in 2019

Training in Ecuador
Training in Ecuador

Thank you for supporting global mental health training through Tributaries International. This year, you helped prepare over 250 church and community leaders to recognize and respond to mental health needs! Here are some highlights:


You trained house parents and staff from New Hope for Orphans and South East Asia Prayer Center. NHO cares for 450 children across Cambodia. Child safety, grief, and counseling were primary focus areas.


In collaboration with Mercy Ships, 96 church leaders were equipped for mental health in Senegal. Eight participants from the first week then helped to facilitate the second week of training. 


In a followup from our time here in 2018, participants shared the many ways training has helped in their areas. For example, one leader revealed how the program helped him realize unforgiveness was holding him back from his purpose. He has since started a school and a farm through which he cares for 65 children in a rural area. With Mercy Ships, new groups of church leaders and prison workers were trained.

Democratic Republic of Congo

In 2018, you helped bring Mom Josephine from eastern DRC to Cameroon for training. This year she and four of her colleagues at I Live Again have trained a group of educators, health workers, and social workers in Goma. Together, they are working with 197 children. This area has suffered for many years with fighting among rival militias, and now the world's second-largest Ebola outbreak.


You brought training to forty-two church leaders and counselors for our first mental health seminar in South America. They were already working in prisons and with addiction counseling, but needed more practical tools:

"Many of these methods have impacted our weekly meetings and transformed our individual counseling sessions. People are experiencing true freedom. Our team has found a new confidence and answer for the broken people of our city."

Your prayers and support are essential to the success of these programs. Thank you!

With gratitude,
The Tributaries International Team

ILA Training Group in Goma
ILA Training Group in Goma


Oct 2, 2019

Report from Ecuador

Thank you for supporting mental health training programs. You are helping to strengthen national health systems, and bringing hope to thousands of people each year!

Earlier this year, the team was in Cuenca, Ecuador for our first ever seminar in South America. Forty-two participants were equipped with basic mental health and counseling skills. As in so many places around the world, there is stigma here surrounding mental health. Though the nation has made efforts to improve care, people often have no access to services. This can be because they live too far away from services, or because of misunderstanding and fear surrounding mental health issues.

Here are some ways participants will use what they learned:

  • Marriage counseling
  • Counseling prisoners
  • Helping women who have been abused
  • Working with children to overcome grief and trauma
  • Training children how to avoid kidnapping
  • To help break cycles of violence among the youth
  • Helping people recover from addictions

Your support makes this important training possible - THANK YOU!


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