Skopje, 25 March 2022 – The SEEHN Secretariat hosted a closing ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Mental Health and Resilience Training for HCWs responding to COVID-19 in SEE Region project.

Launched in 2021 in six of the SEEHN Member States (ALB, BiH, MKD, MNE, SRB, MDA) and in Kosovo*, Project HOPE funded this project with the aim to build knowledge and skills on core resilience drivers and capacities during the eight months of implementation.

The closing ceremony was attended by a group of high-level partners and stakeholders and benefited of the presence of H.E. Dr. Bekim Sali, Minister of Health of the Republic of North Macedonia.

During her opening remarks, the SEEHN Secretariat Director Dr. Mira Dašić reminded of the immense impact of the crisis on health workers. “Since the start of the pandemic, health and care workers have been under unprecedented pressure as they provided care to COVID-19 patients, maintaining the essential health services, and roll-out vaccination rounds. They are the backbone of every health system, but the pandemic has brought to the front not only their tremendous contribution, but also huge sacrifices”, Dr. Dašić said.

Considering the weight that the pandemic brought on all of us, but especially on HCWs, SEEHN aligned with Project Hope to launch an initiative to help improve their resilience, improve the ongoing Covid-19 response and other emergency responses for selected project participants.

The content of the training sessions was based on adapted training materials from NYC Health + Hospitals, with the generous support of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and provided by expert trainers from each of the implemented countries.

Minister Sali noted, “United action for more and stronger support for mental health and well-being is highly placed at our national agenda, and is in line with the efforts of different international organizations to empower and protect mental health of health care workforce. This project implemented by South-eastern Europe Health Network Secretariat and financed by Project HOPE came at a right time to provide HCWs with practical tools how to take care for their mental health, to help their colleagues, to build better resilience and to improve the COVID-19 response”. Thanks to the dedication and intense efforts of the SEEHN Secretariat, partners and countries involved, the project reached out to more than 8,000 health workers.

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