SSU spearheads Facilitators’ Training on Mental Health, PFA, Katatagan Module
By Jessa Pacoma
Catbalogan City – Samar State University (SSU), in cooperation with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Catbalogan City, the Provincial Government of Samar, and the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), conducted a two-day Facilitators’ Training on Mental Health, Psychological First Aid (PFA), and the Katatagan Module at the SSU Audio-visual Center (AVC), July 13-14.
The two-day facilitators’ training is a response to the May 8 fire incident in the coastal community of Catbalogan City, Samar, which burned at least 300 houses.
Studies have shown that some individuals affected by disasters may be at risk of developing long-term mental health problems. Interventions from trained facilitators may deliver preventive measures or programs to develop resilience skills among individuals, families, or groups, as well as help them cope with stress and anxiety.
“Before any intervention is given, it is deemed essential to ensure that the emergency responders and volunteers are fully equipped with the necessary skills to properly address and support mental and emotional needs and well-being of those affected by emergency situations or disaster. Thus, this two-day facilitators’ training on PFA and the Katatagan Program was proposed,” said Ms. Junelle Guerra, one of the proponents and an SSU College of Graduate Studies faculty member.
The opening program was attended by the University President, Dr. Marilyn D. Cardoso, who gave the opening remarks; the Catbalogan City Mayor, Hon. Stephany Uy-Tan, who delivered an inspirational message; and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, Hon. Van A. Torrevillas, who also gave an inspirational talk.
The training covered topics such as Introduction to Mental Health and Basic Facilitation Skills, Psychological First Aid, and the Katatagan Program. Simulations were also given emphasis to give the facilitators an interactive and first-hand experience of how to facilitate victims of disasters.
Under the Research Center for Culture and Social Issues through the Career Guidance Office, Mrs. Mae Cañal, Registered Guidance Counselor and by Ms. Guerra spearheaded the training sponsored by PAP, Catbalogan City Government, and Samar Provincial Government.