Belize: Psychological First Aid (PFA) training in San Pedro


Recognizing the psychological and social impact of emergencies, the Mental Health Program of the Ministry of Health, with technical and financial support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), has been conducting training workshops with community health workers and first responders in Psychological First Aid (PFA) all over the country. These trainings are part of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Mental Health Action Plan, which is geared at strengthening the capacity of the community to support the implementation of PFA. 

The training in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, held on November 7, 2012, was the seventh provided in Belize and the first on the island. Among the attendants were various stakeholders from the community that work very closely with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).

Dévora Kestel, PAHO’s Regional Advisor on Mental Health, and Claudina Cayetano, Director of the Mental Health Program in the Ministry of Health, facilitated the training. The workshop was coordinated by Jeromey Timrose Augustine, NEMO District Coordinator in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, who was assisted by the Mental Health Focal Point at PAHO/WHO Belize Office, Ivan Cabb. 

San Pedro is the only town on the largest island of Belize, Ambergris Caye. It is located 35 miles east of Belize City and has a population of approximately 13,000.