ECUADOR | PANAMA
Integrating coping skills training into a group psychosocial intervention for migrant and host communities
HIAS, Columbia University, and University of Copenhagen is adapted, implemented, and evaluated an integrated psychosocial intervention approach to improve psychological wellbeing among forced migrants in Ecuador and Panamá. The intervention is designed to mobilize social support, build coping skills, strengthen community connectedness, and stimulate collective action to promote the safety and wellbeing of women in diverse communities across Ecuador and Panamá.
The foundation for the intervention (‘Entre Nosotras’, English translation: ‘Among/between us’) is the HIAS community-based MHPSS curriculum. This curriculum already includes elements of psychological first aid and psychoeducation and was designed to be delivered in a group format. The input from the community consultation and intervention brainstorming workshops revealed that it was important that the intervention be interactive. Drawing from community participatory intervention methods from Ecuador and Panama, the intervention incorporates specific activities that provide an opportunity to cover the MHPSS material and concepts in the HIAS CB-MHPSS curriculum in an interactive and participatory manner. Most of these activities focus on mobilizing social support, strengthening social connectedness, and sharing common experiences and strategies for promoting safety and wellbeing.
In the experimental condition, there is an addition of more psychologically-focused, skills-based component and the Doing What Matters in Times of Stress coping skills guide. This is an intervention that is already extensively used by HIAS and would allow for the evaluation of a replicable and standardized WHO intervention.