Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Remote Support Training for Officials from the Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities

Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Remote Support Training for Officials from the Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities

During the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable groups, in particular persons with disabilities and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), have faced an increased level of stress and isolation. Therefore, remote psychological support plays an important role to ensure the continuation of service provision during the pandemic.

The Australian Government, through the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Service (ACCESS) Program, is working in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and Implementing Partners (IPs) to provide sustainable and equitable services to persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV.

On the 1st and 2nd of July 2021, with support from the Australian Government through ACCESS and technical support from the Transcultural Psychological Organisation (TPO) and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), the Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities (DWPD) under the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSVY) organized a psychological first aid (PFA) and remote support training for its 17 officials.

This training aimed to equip service providers/government officials at the DWPD of MoSVY with the ability to provide early assistance and basic psychological support (non-professional psychological counselling) to their target beneficiaries, especially women and girls with disabilities who are survivors of GBV during COVID-19.

Participants of the training included representatives from the DWPD of MoSVY, MoWA, the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, and the ACCESS team.

Mrs. Anne Rouve-Khiev, ACCESS’ Team Leader, expressed appreciation for the leadership and efforts of DWPD and MoWA, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the delivery of sustainable and effective services for persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV. She expressed that this training was very important to equip service providers with the necessary tools and knowledge to provide early assistance and psychological support to vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, and appreciated that the TPO team provided this valuable training.

Mr. Yeap Malyno, Director of DWPD, mentioned in the opening remarks that this training was crucial for DWPD implementation of hotline services “1270” to provide information and counselling to  persons with disabilities. He appreciated the support received from the Australian Government through the ACCESS program to the DWPD to assist persons with disabilities.

This training was successful in transferring essential and relevant skills to government officials for providing basic counselling to vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.