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Valencia City Holds Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Training

The City Local Government of Valencia holds a 3-day training on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) at CAP Auditorium on March 7, 8, and 9, 2016.

Over 30 representatives from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, City Health Office, Department of Education, and City Social Welfare and Development Office attended the training activity.

The activity focused on the discussion of the importance of mental health programs of the government and the role of MHPSS in the context of Disaster and Emergencies.

Dr. Andresa A. Benas, DOH-Center for Health Development and Mental Health Coordinator, help trained the response team of the city as she discussed the ways on managing and conducting stress debriefing for the victims of disasters.

"Mental health plays a big role during disasters as this will help the victims or survivors cope up from the trauma that they experienced," Dr Benas said.

Dr. Benas also highlighted the promotion of protection of the rights and freedom of persons with mental illness and the reduction of the burden and consequences of mental illness, disorders and disabilities.

"We are all at risk of mental health disorder," Dr. Benas said adding that the government should lend more support to the kind of program to achieve quality mental health care.

Dr. Benas also stressed that the local government should always be prepared specially on giving mental health services for the victims of disasters.

During the training, stories and experiences of life amidst disasters were also discussed. The participants were also reminded of the important things to setup during evacuation that includes medical services, mental health and psychosocial support, water and sanitation, hygiene and nutrition.

On the other hand, Mr. Jasper Kent M. Ola, Regional Health Emergency Management Staff Coordinator, conducted different workshops and communicated about the emergencies and disasters modules on the self as health care provider for MHPSS services.

He also further discussed the proper way of conducting psychological first aid and the different protocols needed in times of responding during disaster.

Ms. Ma. Dolor B. Mercado, Nurse V, Non-communicable Disease Cluster, also helped train the participants on achieving good mental health and psychosocial care. She also focused on the discussion on how to cope and recover from extreme life situations.

Mr. Abe P. Gillaco, MPA, Human Resource and Management Officer, also attended the culmination program of the training activity in behalf of City Mayor Azucena P. Huervas.

Mr. Gillaco urged the participants to properly use what they have learned during the training to effectively serve the people.

"It is important that we have the basic knowledge on MHPSS as it will be a great help for the local government to respond on the needs of the people especially in times of disasters," Gillaco said as he also encouraged everyone to cooperate and always be alert. “The local government through the supervision of Mayor Huervas will continue to support and conduct trainings and seminars such as the MHPSS to strengthen and improve the services of the government.”

Mr. Alejandro L. larosa Jr., Acting CDRRMO, was also thankful for the support they received from the local government. He also ended the activity with a message that preparedness is always better than response.

The 3-day training was spearheaded by the Department of Health together with the Valencia City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Valencia City is the second LGU in the province that conducted such training.