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MHPS response of CMC-Nepal during lock-down period resulted due to COVID-19 pandemic period

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The unprecedented spread of COVID-19 pandemic has led to a stressful situation all over the world, making it an issue of global health concern. The impact of this pandemic, however, is not limited to physical health, as several issues related to mental health has also risen since the pandemic has surged. Being an organization working on this very sector, it falls on our responsibility to respond to the mental health and psychosocial issues created by this pandemic to support those in need, in whichever way possible during this crisis. Following are the activities that we have been conducting from our side in response to the situation created by COVID-19.

  • Tele-Counselling guideline: The guideline on tele-counselling (psychosocial support) was prepared and has been extensively followed by our experts and technical staffs in dealing with clients, and addressing their issues related to COVID-19. Project specific guidelines have also been developed and oriented to the front-line staffs. They are providing helpful ways of coping stresses caused by COVID-19 to our clients, and have been providing necessary information based on facts, in addition to providing counseling and mental health treatment.
  • Individual tele-counseling services: With the subscription/circulation of our toll-free hotline number (16600185080), MHPSS response teamhas been actively responding to our clients in rotational basis. We have received many positive feedbacks from our clients for the services that we provided. International Non-Government Organizations and Bank Institutions have also requested for our services via telephone call for their staffs. Field level staffs, in our working districts, are regularly providing the services to the needy clients. Also, in the COVID-19 infected areas, our staffs have been supporting COVID infected patients and also the people who are staying in quarantine.
  • Group Counseling: Following the tele-counseling guidelines, CMC-Nepal’s Psychosocial experts provided distance training to psychosocial supervisors, psychosocial counselors, and case managers of Safer Migration and GBV prevention and response project. The attendees of the training further trained and oriented front-line workers; social workers and CPSW, who then provided group counseling services to returnee migrant workers and their families, and GBV survivors respectively who were dealing with stresses caused due to COVID-19.
  • Regular contact with education cluster, protection cluster, MH cluster, GBV cluster formed by GoN: Focal Persons of CMC-Nepal for respective clusters have maintained regular virtual contact with other cluster members, in all of the clusters meetings Further, CMC-Nepal’s staff is virtually participating in education, health and protection cluster of Sudhurpachhim and Kanali Province. Service mapping is being updated as suggested by provincial level and shared accordingly. Additionally, Mental Health Cluster is seeking for provincial level coordination from its partners. In this context, Province 1 & Karnali Province’s overall mental health & psychosocial support component’s responsibility is given to CMC-Nepal to coordinate in different levels. Along with the Gender Based Violence protection cluster is in Province 1, Dr. Shaligram Bhattarai will coordinate and support in Province 1 and in Karnali Province, Mr. Rajesh Kumar Jha will coordinate and support.
  • Awareness program: Technical experts of CMC-Nepal have been participating in talk-shows and interviews conducted by televisions & FM radio stations to provide appropriate information on maintaining mental health and psychosocial wellbeing during COVID-19 situation amidst the prevailing lock-down. Experts have also been sharing different coping mechanisms to ease the stresses during this difficult situation based on their knowledge and skills via FM radio stations. Moreover, to that, in joint collaboration of CMC-Nepal with Community Information Network (CIN) & Ujjyalo Network, CMC-Nepal is airing PSA on COVID-19 and mental health through their radio networks which is reachable to 500+ FM radios throughout Nepal. 
  • Service delivery: As of this reporting period, CMC-Nepal has provided mental health and psychosocial counselling service through distance (tele-counseling) to needy individuals. Field level psychosocial counsellor also provided counselling service to their beneficiaries.
Psychiatric  Service342660
Psychosocial Counselling services by  KTM team315586
Psychosocial Counseling services provided by district counsellors in the district106219853047
Orientation, PFA & Psycho-education368652668952
  • Supply of Psychotropic Medicine: CMC-Nepal is committed to supply medicines in health facilities where it has implemented its community based MHP, in coordination with local health facilities. It supplied psychotropic medicine in its 9 working districts, from which 3210 people with mental health problems benefited. Ministry of Social Development of Karnali Province has already processed to purchase medicines worth 5 lakhs, and has given the responsibility of managing its distribution to CMC-Nepal and also has acknowledged our support throughout the process.
  • Linkages with the local government for relief package: CMC-Nepal’s field level staffs have been coordinating with local governments to assure the access of needy individuals to the relief packages distributed by the government. CMC-Nepal provided linkage to 29 household in accessing relief package distributed by the local government. Further, CMC-Nepal supported 5 (rural) municipalities of Surkhet and Dailekh for the safety equipment and relief packages. 
  • Regular meeting: Owing to the government’s decision to employ nation-wide lockdown to contain COVID-19, CMC-Nepal’s office is completely closed since its announcement. But, all of our staffs are working from home, providing regular support and services from home.  In order to connect with our central office staffs, we are conducting regular meetings in Skype every week. This has turned out to be an opportunity to share work related experiences, difficulties and concerns while performing our duties from home. In the beginning of every meeting, we share our emotional situation raised due to COVID-19. Similarly, series of meetings are executed every week (via Skype) among project team members to respond COVID-19 pandemic situation, and ease the delivery of our services. In addition to this, online guidance has been regularly provided to the field level staffs to deal/address the mental health and psychosocial problems faced by affected individuals in current situation. Also, virtual coaching is conducted on regular basis/need basis to all the field staffs to further strengthen their capacity in dealing cases related to COVID-19 in field level.

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