Field based training for mental health workers, community workers, psychosocial workers and counsellors: a participant-oriented approach

This article discusses the training of mental health workers whose basic job is with clients that have been seriously affected by armed conflict and/or natural disasters by using ‘helping through talking’, and who have had little education that is relevant to this work. It sums up the characteristics required of the workers, their learning needs, the messages that the training needs to convey, and the characteristics and potential contents of a tailor made, participants-oriented 1 In earlier publications (e.g. van der Veer, 2003; 2006) referring to the same approach the first author has used the term person-oriented or contact-focussed. programme. This approach is illustrated with a few key points from such a training programme.

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van der Veer, Guus; Francis, Felician Thayalaraj