From November 14 to December 5, our Mental Health Activities Implementation Team held a series of strategic sessions on creating a psychosocial support space called “Taking Care of Myself” in the five communities within the USAID Public Health System Recovery and Resilience Activity.
The concept of the “Taking Care of Myself” space envisions a place based at one of the community’s social infrastructure institutions where its residents will receive mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS). They will have access to individual psychological counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy, participate in group sessions within such programs as Mind-Body Medicine and Self-Help Plus, and, if necessary, be referred to other specialists. Representatives of the territorial communities were trained by the USAID Public Health System Recovery and Resilience Activity to implement these programs.
Determining the readiness of the communities to establish such a space was the main task of the strategic sessions held by the European Institute of Public Health Policy in late November and early December 2023 in Fastiv (Kyiv region), Ovruch (Zhytomyr region), Chernivtsi (Chernivtsi region), Lysets (Ivano-Frankivsk region), and Bakhmach (Chernihiv region).
The events were attended by representatives of the local authorities, healthcare system, education system, social services, and non-governmental organizations. These interactive meetings allowed community opinion leaders to form their vision of the spaces and agree on short- and long-term plans to implement the ideas they had developed together.
In total, at least ten “Taking Care of Myself” psychosocial support spaces are planned to be established by November 2024 in the focus communities of the USAID Public Health System Recovery and Resilience Activity as key components of a comprehensive MHPSS service network.