Why invest in Mental Health in the BVI?
Prior to Hurricanes Irma and Maria’s unwelcome visits in 2017, BVI was considered one of the most prosperous countries in the Caribbean and ranked amongst the highest income generators with a GDP value in US dollars of $43,818 million in 2016. The devastation following the passage of these two tropical cyclones, on September 6 and September 20, 2017, respectively, seriously impacted every aspect of life in the BVI. Whilst every damage assessment report classified the destruction to the economy and the physical infrastructure of BVI as colossal, they also documented an even greater concern for the emotional and psychological well-being of the residents.
Watch the launch of the campaign
Origins of Bounce Back Stronger
It is this concern which spawned the project “Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disaster Management and Building Individual and Community Resilience: Building Individual and Community Resilience in the British Virgin Islands” in 2019. Recognizing the importance of such an intervention in supporting the people of the BVI in their recovery efforts, as well as in building their resilience to face any future hazards, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) sought and received funding from the Caribbean Development Bank for this initiative on behalf of the government and people of the BVI. Indeed, the effectiveness of this project has been tested and validated during the current COVID-19 Pandemic, an unexpected crisis which, similar to the hurricanes of 2017, has undermined the economy of the BVI and disrupted every aspect of life for the population.
OBJECTIVE 1: To build local capacity for delivery of MHPSS in disaster management within the health sector, other agencies outside the health sector, and the broader community.
- Phase One and Two PFA and stress management workshops
- mhGAP training for community workers
- mhGAP-IG training of trainers and supervisors 2
- Support the development of national leadership on MHPSS Provide evidence-based guidance on adjusting MHPSS (Tele-MHPSS) (COVID)
- Establishment of TWG (COVID) – On going post life of project at no cost.
OBJECTIVE 2: To develop a community resilience program and establish action plans for emergency preparedness and response at the community level.
- Resilience building workshops #1 and #2
- Resiliency Action Plans progress
- Communications campaign (situational analysis, materials development) (COVID)
- Support groups/ social support, via WhatsApp and social media (COVID)
- Support promotion/expansion BVI’s psychosocial support helpline
OBJECTIVE 3: To develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and associated tools for the project.
- Measurement and Evaluation framework developed
- GWU- PFA and stress management workshop assessments completed
- RAND- Community resilience-building programs: Continue supporting districts with established community councils, RAND will be providing monthly support to four districts
- Communications campaign