UNODC Mental Health Peer Support Training

“Social support is the strongest predictor of resilience.”

Last March 22 and 25, 2022, UNODC partnered with Premier Value Provider, Inc. to have Mental Health Peer Support Training for Teachers. The training was held online (via Zoom) and hundreds of teachers were invited to attend this learning event. This training was facilitated by Ms. Alessandra Arpon, a registered psychologist and a consultant of PVP, in which she shared her knowledge and expertise in giving peer support to teachers across all regions in the Philippines.

On the first day of training, Ms. Aless shared some insights on mental health particularly the mental health continuum to discuss the concept of well-being and distress. Part of the discussion was the quick check-in in which participants shared their “internal weather” or the stress level they are experiencing and their current level of satisfaction with their life. Ms. Aless also shed some light on the different coping styles people have when under stress in which participants also shared their own coping styles and strategies when they are faced with distressing situations. For the first breakout activity, Ms. Aless instructed the participants to share their thoughts on the “If you were a TREE…” activity to emphasize the importance of social support as well as how it influences the recovery of an individual. The first session ended with a quick wrap-up and sharing of insights and key takeaways.

For Day 2, the session started when Ms. Aless instructed the participants to have a quick “Kumustahan” session with the question “What is something difficult today that you did anyway?”. This activity was intended to focus on the discussion about rapport building as it is an essential element in peer support. Ms. Aless also shared some ideas about the stages of helping and the barriers to self-care. She pointed out that self-care is not just necessary for those who needed help but it is also necessary for those who we consider “helpers”. In the last part of the session, the participants shared their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual care in which Ms. Aless explained how these self-care habits influence our well-being. The second session ended with a question-and-answer session and a quick photo session with the participants.

This event was initiated by UNODC as part of their goal to increase the awareness of signs of stress, manage stress, recognize the importance of work-life balance, and create effective support systems, toward lessening the risk of Mental Health concerns as a risk factor for drug use and dependence. Thank you to UNODC for partnering with Premier Value Provider, Inc. for this program.

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