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Psychosocial support training from Feb. 9

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, FEB. 3. More than 200 persons from all over the State will receive training here from February 9 on how to provide psychosocial support to communities affected by the tsunami.

The Directorate of Social Welfare, in association with non-governmental agencies and the United Nations, aims to provide a uniform and sustained training module to master trainers from various district development departments, NGOs and the Nehru Yuva Kendra.

All the stakeholders met at the Directorate today and evolved a rough draft as a follow-up to the January 24 meeting.

There are about 120 resource personnel, drawn from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, the Madras School of Social Work, the Indian Council for Child Welfare, the State Mental Health Authority, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), the U.N., the Social Welfare Department and NGOs such as Balamandir, Bhoomika Trust, Sneha and Scarf. They will sensitise the master trainers on the need to address the psychological and emotional needs of the affected communities.

After the training, which will go on till the end of this month, the master trainers will reach out to the nearly 3,000-strong volunteer force from the community — ICDS representatives, self-help groups, retired Government officials, NGOs, local body members, community workers and community leaders.

The directorate will also provide a built-in referral system for advanced psychiatric assistance apart from the `psychosocial support cell,' which would function in association with the State Mental Health Authority and the UNICEF.

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