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Bolivia: ICRC launches training for community mental-health-care workers

30-04-2010 News Release 10/75

Lima (ICRC) – On 30 April the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched a training course for community mental-health-care workers in the Department of Pando, Bolivia.

Participants will acquire the necessary skills to assist victims of the violence that broke out in Pando in 2008. The course is a pilot project that was developed in close cooperation with the communities concerned and members of civil society.

The ICRC and the Institute for Therapy and Research about the Sequelae of Torture and State Violence (ITEI), a non-governmental organization with expertise in the field of mental health care, together with indigenous communities and the Bartolina Sisa National Federation of Peasant Women of Bolivia, are joining forces to implement the project.

A dozen health-care workers from various towns in the area will attend eight training modules lasting two days each, enabling them to provide services in their own communities. The project is supported and will be monitored by the Ministry of Health, under the National Mental Health Care Plan.

" The purpose of the project is to alleviate the suffering of victims of violence and treat the trauma endured by the population as a whole. Because these are very close-knit communities, what happens to one person affects everyone else, " said ICRC delegate Giuseppe Renda.

The eight modules, which will be taught on a monthly basis, will cover topics such as the psychosocial effects of violence, listening and interviewing skills, and basic knowledge of medical conditions brought on by exposure to violence. In practical terms, the participants will learn to detect and prevent mental illness, and to provide assistance and referrals for patients.




  For further information, please contact:
  Dafne Martos, ICRC, Lima, tel. +51 1 241 9904