Washington, D.C., 13 April 2020 (PAHO/WHO) - The eruption of La Soufriere in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the current Covid pandemic, present complex challenges for individuals, families, communities and the entire society. These problems are likely to adversely affect the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of the residents of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
In response, PAHO is coordinating with the national authorities to provide Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) to the affected population, particularly those living in vulnerable situations including those who are displaced.
PAHO is providing technical support to the Ministry of Health to develop and implement a MHPSS response plan, that includes the provision of psychosocial support services to prevent or minimize immediate and longer-term consequences.
MHPSS is recognized as an integral and cross-cutting component of the public health emergency response, and it is being integrated into the national emergency response.
The immediate actions will focus on:
- Support to MHPSS coordination at the country level
- Coordination with the local agencies and partners regarding on-site psychosocial assessments, follow-up and referral
- Support to the psychosocial and mental health wellbeing of front-line workers
- Identification of vulnerable populations and their specific needs
- Identification of referral pathways and management of information
- Use of traditional and social media, and site visits to deliver information to promote public awareness with regards to safeguarding mental health and offering psychosocial support.