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EU-funded project implemented by the IFRC held a refresh training on “Mental Health and Psychosocial Support”


On 5-6 March 2024, under the European Union (EU) funded project called “Bridging the Gap between Community Needs and Local Capacities and Capabilities of the Civil Society Actors in Azerbaijan”, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) organised a refresh training about Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for MHPSS focal points of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society (AzRCS). 12 MHPSS focal points from 11 branches of the AzRCS attended the training.

The main objective of the training was to strengthen the capacity of the MHPSS focal points of the AzRCS within branches by renewing and refreshing knowledge on the MHPSS interventions in humanitarian crises at the field level. On the first day of the training, after reviewing the fundamental knowledge of MHPSS and the MHPSS policy of the AzRCS, the focal points received more detailed information on community-based interventions, particularly focusing on awareness sessions. They were instructed on how awareness sessions need to be conducted, including planning, structure, and content of the sessions. Then, to consolidate and practice the information received, the focal points were divided into different groups to demonstrate a role-play on holding awareness sessions about the importance of self-care, stress management and coping with crisis.

In the following session, the service mapping was introduced to the focal points, since they are tasked to collect information on available MHPSS services in different regions. The main goal of the service mapping is to create a clearer picture of the state of MHPSS services in the regions to identify gaps and lay the foundation for the AzRCS in partnering and setting up a referral system for the future.

The second day of the training was mostly devoted to planning and reporting. Together with the AzRCS MHPSS specialist, focal points operated the initial planning regarding activities. A report template was also presented to the focal points that they would have to fill out after each activity. The training concluded with a Q&A session.