“We give the food and love, but it’s not enough. Their need is inside.”
Hannah cares for 64 orphaned children in Myanmar (Burma). She had just taken six of those children through the first chapter of Baby Finds Grace, a story designed to help children process their grief and/or trauma. She and 27 other church leaders and orphanage workers received 5 days of training in basic mental health and counseling before they started working with the children. While some participants returned to their home areas, others committed to continue working with the children over the next 6 weeks.
August through September of this year, the Tributaries International Mental Health Team trained church leaders and community workers in three nations. In Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the Nuwakot area of Nepal, this was the first time these service providers had access to this kind of training.
In a follow-up with service providers trained last year in Kathmandu, participants said training had made them more aware of people’s needs. They were more prepared to listen and learn the stories of people who are struggling. Knowing the person’s story helped them to engage in compassionate support and to refer.
The Carter Center in Liberia asked Dr. Lyn Westman, the Mental Health Program Consultant for Tributaries and Mercy Ships, to prepare a sermon for use the week of October 10th for World Mental Health Day. The message, intended to raise awareness and provide a call to respond to mental health needs, was distributed to church leaders and traditional healers in Liberia and around the world.
Training local informal service providers builds a safety net where people can find mental health care in the community. Thank you for helping to make this possible.