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The Help for Helpers+ psychosocial support for frontline health workers and persons with mental disabilities is a one year project being implemented by HFFG and the PsykForum with funding from The Ghana Somubi Dwumadie.

The goal of the project is to provide psychosocial support to health workers and people with lived experiences of disabilities in the Greater Accra and Western Regions during the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana. In the Greater Accra Region, the project is run in four (4) districts namely: La Dade Kotopon, Korle Klottey, Ayawaso West and Ga East Municipalities. Ellembelle and Secondi Takoradi make up the districts in the Western Region.

Project Outcomes:

  • Reduced COVID-19 related work stress among health workers
  • Increased access to health care among people with disabilities, including people with mental health conditions
  • Reduced stigma and discrimination at the health facilities among people with COVID-19

By the end of the project’s first quarter (October – January) , 139 frontline health workers were provided with psychoeducation. Psychoeducation is a systematic, and structured didactic knowledge transfer on mental health/illness and how to cope and thrive in spite of the condition. For this particular exercise there was psychoeducation on the different dynamics of covid-19 such as the economic, social, political and mental health implications and how to cope.

It further educated participants on mental health through the life-span and the potential challenges that can develop if one’s mental health is not taken seriously. For frontline workers it is particularly important since some have suffered social stigma, extreme stress and personal grief during covid-19 especially as a result of providing covid-19 related service and or contracting COVID in the process of providing service.

Considering the overall importance of the intervention, the Head of the Ghana Ambulance Service signed a total of 87 emergency medical technicians, paramedics to be provided with Psycho education. Similarly, 52 health workers were also trained at the Police Hospital for the same reason.