IOM and WHO train NADMO staff on psychosocial support to migrants, returnees and disaster victims

Sensitizing community leaders and migration stakeholders about mental health and psychosocial support is key to a holistic approach to reintegration.

Two training sessions were recently organised jointly by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for some 70 officers of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) on migrants' mental health and psychosocial support. The officers will be able to apply the new skills when dealing with migrants, returnees and disaster victims, as well as pass on the newly acquired knowledge to their colleagues.

“Each returnee, whatever their condition, should be helped to survive economically and psychosocially. In our quest to restore the psychosocial well-being of these vulnerable returning migrants, psycho-social support has become an important equation in the reintegration process,” said Director-General of NADMO, Hon. Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh. He added that the complex nature of migration related issues requires to enhance the capacities of migration stakeholders.

IOM is committed to support migrants and returnees holistically, including by expanding their access to mental health care. Therefore, IOM Ghana regularly provides capacity building trainings to government officials, traditional authorities, religious and opinion leaders, health and social workers, including in migration-prone communities across the country.

"Addressing the mental health issues of vulnerable groups, such as returning migrants and disaster victims, has been identified as an integral component of a holistic approach to the reintegration process for returning migrants and rehabilitation of disaster victims. Capacity building is critical in providing human, supportive and practical help to people affected particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic to improve their well-being and recovery" said Dr. Francis Kasolo, WHO Country Representative for Ghana.

Group photo following the training session

Sensitizing community leaders and migration stakeholders about mental health and psychosocial support is key to a holistic approach to reintegration. Over the years, IOM Ghana has built their detection and counselling capacities thus contributing to an enabling environment for returnees to become fully functioning members of society.

“IOM is working closely with its Government counterparts to coordinate migration governance. Similarly, IOM is working with its sister UN Agencies, such as WHO, to support Government in its COVID-19 response and recovery. The need to support migrants with their mental health concerns has increased with the spread of COVID-19. Economic hardships, isolation, anxiety and stigmatization, are among the issues that have presented a heightened threat to their mental health,” said Abibatou Wane-Fall, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.

In Ghana, the provision of sustainable reintegration assistance is coordinated among migration stakeholders through the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Reintegration of Returnees. The psychosocial dimension is a crucial pillar. IOM, in coordination with the Government of Ghana, and as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, has conducted workshops to sustain the use of the SOPs.

The two training-of-trainer workshops were organised as part of the “Assistance to Ghanaian returnees and potential migrants” project, funded by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), through the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GGC). Since the beginning of the project in 2019, 551 (350 men, 201 women) have been trained in 10 regions of Ghana.

UN entities involved in this initiative
IOM
International Organization for Migration
WHO
World Health Organization