Frontline Responders Receive Training for Mental Health Support in Road Traffic Accidents

Frontline Responders Receive Training for Mental Health Support in Road Traffic Accidents

Seventeen frontline responders and health care providers attended a training session in Belize City today on delivering Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for victims and survivors of road traffic accidents. The session was held at the Central Health Region compound and was the second such training held in Belize City this week. The training is being held under the Second Road Safety Project, a collaborative effort between the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Alondra Izaguirre, National Consultant for Non-Communicable Diseases for PAHO Belize’s Country Office, explained that the exercise was facilitated by all local facilitators, who were certified to be trainers earlier this year.

Alondra Izaguirre, National Consultant for Non-Communicable Diseases:  “We started last year, since last year April. We have been doing a situational analysis to identify the gaps and then we had a training guidelines developed based on those gaps to equip frontline workers with the necessary skills to provide mental health and psychosocial support services to victims of road traffic incidents and their families. Oftentimes the mental health aspect of the services are overlooked and frontline workers are usually equipped with the necessary skills to respond to these emergencies, but not the mental health aspect of it. We do understand the important role that mental health plays in the overall well-being of individuals, so we want to be able to have a more holistic approach. for the participants to be able to provide those essential services to road traffic incident victims and their families also.”

One of the facilitators, Onando St. Bernard, Counseling Coordinator at the Community Rehabilitation Department, also spoke on the material being shared with the participants. St. Bernard said that when delivering psychological first aid, the most important elements are confidence and a desire to help a fellow citizen.

Representatives from entities such as the Belize Red Cross, Belize Police Department, Department of Transport, and the Department of Human Services, attended the session. The Road Safety Project is being carried out with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

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