PAHO/WHO Host Training in Jamaica to Strengthen Community Mental Health Services

mental health intervention

Kingston, Jamaica, March 25, 2024 (PAHO) - On March 20, around 20 trainees participated in a capacity-building session focused on Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (EQUIP), facilitated by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Led by Dr. James Underhill of WHO, the three-hour workshop aimed to enhance the competence of helpers and improve the consistency and quality of training and service delivery.

EQUIP will be utilized to assess Problem Management Plus (PM+) competencies during the program's implementation in Jamaica. Since its inception in July 2022, 55 supervisors and 212 providers from at least 20 faith-based and community-based organizations have undergone training and have provided support to at least 45 individuals in the community. In addition, avenues are currently being explored to enhance the skills of individuals already working within communities.

Research has shown that individuals who are not mental health specialists can effectively administer psychological interventions, provided they receive adequate training and supervision. It is anticipated that supervisors and providers who participated in the workshop will be better prepared to integrate competency measures into the PM+ program. Competency-based training approaches have already proven successful in various areas of healthcare in low-resource settings.

The training will be used to facilitate discussions on existing strengths, identify potentially harmful behaviors, and pinpoint areas for improvement during the implementation of the PM+ program. The existing training and supervision plans will be customized to ensure better quality support is delivered.

PM+ is a scalable community intervention developed by the World Health Organization that uses a problem-solving approach to help people manage adversity and everyday challenges by engaging and equipping community members with the tools needed to offer support to others who may be struggling to cope.

Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (WHO EQUIP): Developing a competent global workforce.  Available at Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (WHO EQUIP): developing a competent global workforce - PMC (