Mental health and psycho-social support program

In September 2010, in collaboration with TPO Nepal, a psychosocial rapid assessment took place in the flood affected areas of Sindh and Punjab, to assess the mental and psychosocial impact on children in these provinces. The results showed trauma at both an individual and group level: serious mental or cognitive disabilities (especially in young children) were determined, as well as loss of hope and future perspective. In addition, feelings of helplessness and resignation, aggressive behaviour, disaster stress, trauma and grief reactions were common. The results were followed by recommendations to Plan Pakistan’s programme.

In 2010, Healthisblog also provided psychosocial support to communities in the Buner district, affected by the armed conflict between militants and government forces. Activities focused on raising awareness of psychosocial issues and training key figures in the communities. This resulted in 9,013 activists contacted in 65 community meetings, another 7,495 community members participated in psycho-education sessions and around 45,365 community members participated in recreational and sports events. A total of 488 school teachers and 55 health care providers were trained to provide basic psychosocial support and 7 union council seminars were organized for 2,080 opinion makers from the public and private sectors.

Currently, Healthisblog works closely with knowledge centres and academia to develop and test new models for intervention. Capable partners can be found in Pakistan’s well developed civil society. At the time of writing, a range of projects is being developed, in cooperation with partners such as the Health Services Academy in Islamabad and the Institute of Mental Health in Rawalpindi.