Global Mental Health Training

by Tributaries International
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Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Global Mental Health Training
Counseling practice exercise, Liberia
Counseling practice exercise, Liberia

Thank you for your support for the Tributaries International mental health program. With your help, we continue to equip formal and informal service providers for the growing tsunami of mental health needs as stress, anxiety, and depression continue to rise.

We marked World Mental Health Day, a global event to raise awareness about mental health conditions, on October 10th. This year's theme is "Mental health in an unequal world," with a focus on the gap between the demand for mental health services and access to those services.

  • Stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses of people with mental health conditions remain widespread.
  • The gap between demand for mental health services and supply is substantial.
  • Health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions have been particularly affected during the pandemic.
  • The number of mental health workers in high-income countries is more than 40 times higher than in low-income countries.

We're working to reduce the gap in mental health care by training service providers in healthcare, social services, and in the church. 

In November, we will join partners in South Africa for a project led by Mercy Ships. This mental health seminar follows vocational training, restorative justice, and life skills programs which ran troughout this year in the Eastern Cape.

After that, we're looking forward to a full schedule in 2022, with training in several nations, including Peru, Senegal, and Burundi.

Thank you for making this work possible!


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Training in Liberia
Training in Liberia

Oh, how we have looked forward to getting back into live, in-person training seminars! And as we go, we go with a big smile, knowing you have supported and cared for mental health at such a crucial time! Thank you!

In our home community in Virginia, over 30 people went through the program to equip a team of lay counselors to respond effectively to increasing mental health needs.

Though training events in Peru and Pakistan were postponed to next year, we were able to collaborate with Mercy Ships for three weeks of in-person training in Liberia. The Liberia project had been cut short when the pandemic first started. Now, in a program that ended just last month, more than 120 health care workers, spiritual leaders, police, and those serving in the justice system were equipped with basic mental health and counseling skills. In addition, 86 high school seniors learned the core lessons on models for understanding people and abuse prevention. The team will soon return to Senegal, and facilitators in Togo are starting with a new group this week.

In each training seminar, participants write out action plans. These plans often include training others. We train many in developing nations who are comfortable helping people, but they are less confident training others. In response, we’ve produced a set of videos for use by facilitators in live settings where the teaching is provided, and the leader facilitates discussion and activities. These videos are near completion, and we hope to make them available to leaders in several countries soon.

Here's an example of what can happen through this multiplication of training:

On May 22, Mount Nyiragongo erupted near the eastern city of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The lava flow destroyed homes and businesses and set off a mass evacuation from the area. Hundreds of thousands were displaced, and many children were separated from their families. In the midst of this, our friends at ELIKIA DRC are working with children, using the book Baby Finds Grace to calm their anxious thoughts and stabilize emotions after this traumatic event. They were already working in the region, and were already equipped, because two years ago you helped bring one of ELIKA’s leaders, Josephine, from Goma to Cameroon for training. She returned home to train others, and you can see what a difference they are making in a region that has suffered so much. Thank you!

Training in the U.S.
Training in the U.S.


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The covid pandemic has caused physical and economic disaster–and a mental health crisis. Informal service providers in the community will be an integral part of recovery. 

With your help, Tributaries International is increasing efforts to train church and community workers to recognize and respond to mental health needs. 

Here’s what you make possible:

Training Seminars
Forty hours of training to equip church and community workers for mental health in under-resourced countries. Participants learn a framework for understanding people, their needs and motivations, and basics about mental health conditions, grief, and trauma. In 2021, if we can do so safely, we're planning live, in-person seminars for South Africa, Peru, Togo, and Central Asia. 

Counseling for Children
Every participant in training learns ways to prevent child abuse, and ways to help children process grief and trauma.

Follow-up with Facilitators & Hosts
We continue to connect with international members of the team, and contacts working to bring the training to their countries. These conversations and mini-training sessions help us understand the challenges they face, encourage them, and offer simple, practical responses to current conditions.

Online Courses
As demand for training continues to grow, your donations are helping to make the full Understanding People, Mental Health, and Trauma course available online. Besides the full course, we’re developing shorter offerings for stress management and special populations (such as children and older adults). This effort requires hundreds of hours on production, translation, and technical expertise.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to equip church and community workers to respond to the tremendous need for mental health care!

From all of us at Tributaries International


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Liberian pastors had learned safety from Ebola
Liberian pastors had learned safety from Ebola

Thank you for supporting mental health training. The whole world is groaning under the coronavirus pandemic, and the toll on mental health is great.

Since the pandemic began, we've been collaborating with other organizations and checking in with our international facilitators. In short online sessions, healthcare workers and church leaders have shared about their experiences and ways they've been coping.

Although our in-person training seminars are cancelled for now, we've been listening and offering guidance as we can. We're also running a "Bridge" course via Zoom to bring facilitators who were trained early in the programn up to date with newer materials. This course has participants from seven nations.

The full seminar is 40 hours when we do the training in person. So it's taking some time to get everything into a video format for oinline learning. But we are getting it done! The French and English programs will be fully-available at the beginning of 2021. 

Increased workload, fear of bringing the virus home to family, and the lack of protective gear are common stressors. Yet, in the midst of this, they've discovered ways to find joy. Some have had more time with family, playing with their children, and growing their own food. One healthworker shared how she started exercising to deal with the stress at work, and the benefits of exercise have been such a lift and encouragement!

So often, it's the little things that make a big difference. A kind word, a listening ear. These are things all of us can do!


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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


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Organization Information

Tributaries International

Location: Hayes, Virginia - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tributariesintl
Project Leader:
Kay Helm
Hayes, Virginia United States
$7,665 raised of $10,000 goal
156 donations
$2,335 to go
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