The SEEHN Secretariat is implementing a mental health project “Mental Health and Resilience Training for healthcare workers responding to COVID-19 in SEE Region”. funded by Project HOPE in six of SEEHN Member States (ALB, BiH, MKD, MNE, SRB, MDA) plus Kosovo*. The TOT sessions will focus on building knowledge and skills on core resilience drivers and capacities. The target group of the project is estimated to reach more than 720 healthcare workers.

The training of trainers’ sessions started on 15 December in North Macedonia followed by Serbia on 16 December and Montenegro on 17 December 2021.

Present at the opening of the virtual sessions, the Director of the SEEHN Secretariat, Dr. Mira Dašić, referred to the strong mental impact of Covid-19 on front-line health workers and the importance of cooperation and joint efforts in addressing this heavy toll. Since the start of the pandemic, health and care workers have been under unprecedented pressure as they provide care to COVID-19 patients, maintain essential health services, and roll-out vaccination rounds. Their work is the backbone of any health system, but the pandemic has brought to the front both their contributions and sacrifices. The SEE Health Network has been striving to implement initiatives that would reach out most of the health and care workers from the entire South Eastern European Region, the Director mentioned in the opening remarks.

Notably, director Dašić emphasized the crucial role of personal commitment and contribution to dissemination efforts. I am grateful to all of you for the time and commitment to jointly address such an important issue as mental health and wellbeing of healthcare workers. We expect you shall roll-out these training at your working place and community and be those to empower others in their daily challenges by contributing to the well-being around you.

The content of the session is based on adapted training materials from NYC Health + Hospitals, with the generous support of the Center for Disaster Philanthrophy and provided by expert trainers from each of the implemented countries. The participants will have the opportunity to gain a deeper perspective on topics such as stress, trauma & resiliency, personal and professional wellness, impact, effect & outcome on healthcare workers, seeking help for ourselves & others, resilience & wellness program development.

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