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Mental Health Frontliner Training Primer launched for Philippine universities and LGUs

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The Filipino Nursing Diaspora (FiND) Network has launched a practical training course designed to assist workers from selected local government units and universities in the Philippines.

The Mental Health Frontliner Training Primer is a major component of the HealthCOVE project. This training is considered a significant output from a series of scoping activities held with HealthCOVE’s stakeholders. Led by Prof Joemer Maravilla, project director, his team found stress and anxiety the most pressing health impacts of the pandemic, especially among health workers. Prof Maravilla said, “this frontline training program highlights mental health as a key driver to maintain people’s health and wellbeing, and clearly places focus on the importance of early intervention to address situations arising from mental health issues as a result of the ongoing pandemic”.

The virtual ‘snap-shot’ sessions across six days will equip participants with knowledge and practical skills to recognise signs of mental health issues, help colleagues and friends experiencing difficulties, and reduce stigma in the workplace.

 “Just like the standard first aid courses, this introductory training gives you the skills and knowledge to potentially save someone’s life,” he says.

The training will be delivered online by Mr Michael Jimenez, a clinical psychologist and a mental health first aid provider. He has been actively involved in implementing the Philippines’ Mental Health Act activities with government agencies, education institutions, and non-government organizations such as the World Health Organization.

Mr. Jimenez said, “The Mental Health Frontline training develops the skills needed to recognise various mental health conditions and help colleagues needing assistance to find the most appropriate support.”

Prof. Violeta Lopez, President of FiND Network said, “This is an unprecedented period for many in the Philippines; hence, the population’s mental health is paramount at this time. We fully applaud the support of our partners, including the Australian-ASEAN Council”.

The training requires participants to complete all six sessions lasting 30 minutes each.

Jerome Babate, Executive Director of FiND network mentioned, “We know that the Training Primer provides excellent support in the workplace and will soon be adapted for implementation in community settings.”

This initiative is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australia-ASEAN Council.


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