The United Nations and the World Economic Forum have proposed that mental health is among the most pressing issues of our day. Yet, according to the World Health Organization, “In low- and middle-income countries, between 76% and 85% of people with mental disorders receive no treatment for their disorder.”
The good news is, most people can be helped with counseling. This is why we focus on training for informal providers: church leaders, healthcare workers, social workers, teachers, house parents… Who do people go to when they have a problem? These are the people we train to recognize and respond to mental health needs. They learn basic mental health and counseling skills, relationship building strategies, and when to refer to a higher level of care.
Earlier this year the mental health team trained house parents and staff from New Hope for Orphans and South East Asia Prayer Center. NHO cares for nearly 500 children across Cambodia.
“We’ve needed this for a long time,” says Tina Tomes, Raising Kids Director for SEAPC. In a survey of house parents last year, they had indicated mental health and child safety training as top priorities. We will return to Cambodia for an extended period to train and mentor a local team. That team will bring the training to teachers and staff at schools throughout Banteay Meanchey Province, and beyond.
In West Africa
Continuing in collaboration with Mercy Ships, over 90 church leaders were trained in Senegal. Eight participants trained in the first week then helped to facilitate in the second week of training. In addition, the video training series recorded last year is being edited. Recorded in Cameroon with a multinational team, local facilitators can use these videos to expand into new areas. We’re excited about the possibilities!
In June the team heads to Ecuador for our first ever seminar in South America. We expect around 70 participants in the program there.
Thank you for making mental health training possible! You are bringing understanding and hope to people all around the world!