PSS has been a service that is provided by the National Society in both emergency and non-emergency settings. During the COVID19 response, it was one of the first setups that was established at the National Emergency Operations Center, as a PSS Call Center, and has since been scaled up to meet the growing demands. Keeping in line with and ensuring coherence of work done to promote the resilience and mental wellbeing of communities, the MRC led the formation of the Mental Health and PSS (MHPSS) Cluster at the NEOC and continues to play an integral role in the coordination of its work.
The first nationwide PSS helpline was established through the MRC in April 2020. Since then, over 1700 calls have been received. The current set up has part-time staff who coordinate work for the MRC PSS Helpline 1425.
In addition to providing PSS or Psychological First Aid (PFA) to those affected, a key component of the work done in this area is to build and strengthen capacities around PSS, across sectors. As such, over 490 volunteers have been trained. Through the partnership with UNICEF Maldives, and to work towards enhancing the resilience of children, over 6000 teachers across the country were also trained, to prepare them for when schools would resume for students, as part of a back-to-school programme. Orientations and shorter trainings on PFA and supportive communications for frontline and healthcare work were also provided, so that the responders were better equipped to manage needs that arise around mental and emotional wellbeing of those affected.
MRC’s work in the area of MHPSS remains relevant and is aligned with the national level efforts, ensuring coherence and effectiveness.
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