Mental Health Awareness and Psychological First Aid from 30th to 31st of August 2015

This was a basic introduction to some of the main mental disorders, providing a basic and general awareness of some of the common mental disorders. The course began with an anti-stigma workshop before proceeding to discuss psychological first aid; depression, suicide, psychosis, drug use and its disorders. The course was based on and referenced the following: WHO’s Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field workers, published by the WHO in 2011. This course was attended by 23 participants from non-healthcare backgrounds including those working in various charities in the Maldives, school teachers, counsellors and police officers. The feed-back by the second group of this course was commended by the participants and again described the training as being one that was a much needed one for them to serve their community. The training programmes’ value was also highlighted during the well-received closing ceremony with attendees including the chief guest, Honourable Iruthisham Adam, the Minister of Health of the Maldives and Dr Arvind Mathur, WHO representative, both of whom praised the training programmes’ initiatives and MHAF. From the participants; Fathimath Neema, Civil Officer from the Maldivian Police Service’s Victim Support Unit gave a moving speech describing the potential benefit of the training for the country and the need for the courses. Overall, the training programmes were attended by 52 participants from 22 different organisations. We plan to publish the outcome measures from the courses as this is an important element to monitoring the effectiveness of MHAF’s pilot projects. MHAF wishes to hold annual training in the Maldives. It welcomes volunteer psychiatrists to continue this journey and sustain achieving the goals of MHAF.