Baku, July 19, AZERTAC
As part of the European Union (EU)-funded Solidarity for Health Initiative, World Health Organization (WHO) continues to support the long-term mental health facilities in Azerbaijan.
According to the WHO’s country office, during the period when the COVID-19 was widespread and the key resources were being mobilized to fight against the pandemic, there was an increase in the need for mental health and psychosocial support.
Three psychologists and three social workers were recruited as part of the project since September 1st, 2021, to provide mental health and psychosocial assistance to the biggest mental facilities in the country: the Republican Psychiatric Hospital No.1 of the Ministry of Health and the Psychoneurological Social Service Institution No.1 under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population.
The main goal of this multidisciplinary team of psychologists and social workers was to support the patients in managing own problems relating to mental health and social needs. These teams provided 1455 sessions to 174 men and 96 women aged between 18 to 88 in 10 months. The support was provided through therapeutic sessions, psychological consultations, art therapy sessions, group therapy interventions and other relevant sessions. The project teams delivered training courses for healthcare workers of hospitals on burnout, anger management, rights of persons with disabilities and their integration into society, as well as mental health and psychosocial support and ethics. More than 150 people, including family members of patients, attended the courses. The teams also organized events dedicated to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Children′s Day, and Human Rights Day in the hospitals.
The social workers assisted the beneficiaries in developing social skills, issuance of ID cards, determination of disability and receiving disability benefits, acquisition of disability equipment, adaptation and reintegration into society, family relationship and employment, as well as in getting vocational trainings. Overall, 500 social consultations were conducted by social workers, whereas social problems of 102 patients were resolved in collaboration with state entities.
This is the first social initiative taken with joint work of psychologists and social workers. WHO Azerbaijan will continue to support mental health and psychosocial services in the country.
The Solidarity for Health Initiative is an EU-funded project being implemented by WHO Azerbaijan Country Office since April 2020 to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The project that is part of the continued support of the European Union and the WHO to Azerbaijan aims at helping build a sustainable response capacity to potential pandemics in the future.
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