The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday, begun a five-day training of trainers on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for gender-based violence survivors (GBVS) amidst COVID-19 and insecurity.
Programme Coordinator and Head of Office, UNFPA Decentralized Office for Northern Nigeria, Mariama Darboe made this known on the sideline of the event in Kaduna.
Participants at the training comprised of medical doctors, social workers and frontline workers working directly with GBVS from the northern states of Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna and Sokoto, Darboe said.
Others, according to her, are civil society organisations and officials from ministries of health and women affairs from the four states.
She explained that the training was part of the series of UNFPA’s interventions in support of the states, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, especially among the most vulnerable.
“You are all aware of the negative economic and social impact of COVID-19 at the family level – reduced income, increased gender-based violence, domestic violence, child abuse and school dropout.
“These, in turn, impacted hugely on the mental and health wellbeing of people, particularly the vulnerable families in communities.
“The goal is to have a good number of medical doctors and social workers in these states with the needed expertise to be able to provide efficient mental health and psychosocial support to GBVS”, she noted.
One of the facilitators, Dr Ibrahim Mshelia believed the training would equip GBV actors with skills to efficiently provide gender and culturally appropriate psychosocial support to GBVS and the worst affected communities.
“They should be able to identify survivors of GBV and their specific psychosocial needs and acquire basic skills in responding to the psychosocial needs, integrate self-care strategies when responding to the psychosocial needs of survivors of GBV, organize and facilitate larger community support activities”, he said.