May 24, 2024 12:25 am
PAHO/WHO to Conduct Training in Jamaica to Enhance Community Mental Health Services

On March 20, 2024, a capacity-building session focused on Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (EQUIP) was held in Kingston, Jamaica. Facilitated by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the three-hour workshop aimed to enhance the competence of helpers and improve the consistency and quality of training and service delivery. Dr. James Underhill of WHO led the session, which was attended by approximately 20 trainees.

Since its initiation in July 2022, over 55 supervisors and 212 providers from at least 20 faith-based and community-based organizations have undergone training through Problem Management Plus (PM+) program and have provided support to at least 45 individuals in the community. The program is designed to equip community members with the tools necessary to offer support to others who may be struggling to cope.

Research has demonstrated that individuals who are not mental health specialists can effectively administer psychological interventions with proper training and supervision. The supervisors and providers who participated in the workshop are expected to be better prepared to integrate competency measures into the PM+ program. Competency-based training approaches have been successful in various healthcare areas in low-resource settings.

The training conducted will facilitate discussions on current strengths, identify potentially harmful behaviors, and pinpoint areas for improvement during the implementation of the PM+ program. Existing training and supervision plans will be personalized to ensure the delivery of better quality support. Efforts are underway to further enhance the skills of individuals already working within communities.

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