Two major earthquakes rocked Nepal in a two-week period, killing nearly 9,000 people. The psychological effects of this sudden widespread death and destruction remain long after the quake. We're training local community workers so more people can get help as they cope with tremendous losses.
The effects of sudden widespread death and destruction will linger long after the quake. People have suffered great loss, and little progress has been made to meet their needs, which only adds to the psychological toll. Stigma, fear, and lack of mental health services keep traumatized people from getting the help they need.
Training informal community care providers helps make care accessible to a wide number of people. Participants are trained in the concept of whole person care - ways to care for others who have experienced trauma, and providing self-care as they serve. Training includes causes and symptoms of common and severe mental illness and emotional trauma, and when to refer. Special emphasis focuses on trauma care following the earthquake, and working with children.
Working with local partner Hope for Nepal last year, we trained 71 church leaders and community workers in basic mental health, trauma and counseling basics. We will follow up with these service providers to see how they have been using what they learned, and provide advice and assistance in challenging areas. We will also train a new group of service providers. Additional training in 2016 will focus on trauma and special populations such as the elderly and children.