19 May 2015, Sana’a, Yemen — The World Health Organization (WHO) has trained health staff from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Sana’a, Yemen on psychological first aid to increase support to populations requiring mental health services as a result of the ongoing conflict. Populations, especially children, who have experienced the loss of family members and have been exposed to the consequences of conflict and violence, are likely to suffer from psychological distress as a result. Research has shown that those who receive psychological support following a traumatic incident recover faster and do better in the long-term future.
The training, which was held on 14–15 May 2015, targeted 33 participants from 5 NGOs who were trained on the principles and techniques of psychological first aid.
“It’s vital to organize this training in such critical time to help people overcome what they’ve experienced and cope with life challenges,” said Dr Ahmed Shadoul, WHO Representative for Yemen. “Participants were not only trained on how to comfort vulnerable people or allay their fears, but also how to help these people connect to social support networks and services.”
The second day of the training included a field visit to a shelter hosting internally displaced persons in the Olympic Centre in Sana'a, where training participants applied their new knowledge under the supervision of the trainers and WHO staff.