Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial response to covid and other crisis in three Caribbean countries: Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago

22 Mar 2023
Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial response to covid and other crisis in three Caribbean countries: Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago
22 Mar 2023

The collaboration between WHO and European Union in the context of the Health System Strengthening for UHC Partnership, has provided ground support to the WHO-UNDP Global Joint Programme Catalyzing multisectoral action for the prevention and control of NCDs and mental health to scale up action in countries in the Caribbean (Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago).

The initiative supported these countries with their efforts to develop and implement regulatory measures to strengthen the delivery of mental health services and care with a focus on mental health and psychosocial support, particularly in the context of the COVID-19. 

Trinidad and Tobago set up a multi sectoral technical working group with participation from several organizations and prepared a printed and online directory of services that allowed that expanded  the accessibility of mental health services to the population.  

Given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and suicide rates in Suriname PAHO and UNDP provided support to the Bureau of Health and the Ministry of Health with training sessions for health workers on how to prevent self-harm /suicide and to carry out activities to increase awareness in the population through panel discussions and a radio program for the elderly. Training materials were also translated into Dutch.

A group of people standing on an open space for a group photo, some of them with mask, other smiling

Participants on the suicide prevention training in Suriname

Photo of people sitting on a classroom taking a training

One of the trainings in Suriname 

 

In Guyana, the Ministry of Health conducted trainings for health workers in psychological support to assist people affected during emergencies. Partnering with UNICEF, PAHO provided technical support to the Ministries of Health and Education to establish and operationalize a multisectoral working group on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), with representation from 23 organizations, including civil society and academia. In addition, a radio program was aired to increase wellbeing awareness among adolescents.

Photo of people sitting on a classroom taking a training

Health workers trained in MHPSS Guyana

Photo of people sitting on a classroom taking a training

Implementation of the Mental Health project in Guyana

The project received financial support from the European Union to the United Nations Interagency Task Force on NCDs, in the context of the “Health System Strengthening for Universal Health Coverage Partnership”. 

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Strengthening Mental Health response to covid and other crisis in three Caribbean countries

 

 

 

 

Guyana

 

 

Suriname

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago

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