WACIT psychoeducation resources: Tackling stigma against BOTH mental illness AND vulnerability

IMG_0611Stigma takes different forms. It is often most powerful when subtle and covert. It can also be selective, by endorsing a group we are comfortable with, and ostracizing another. This is why I like Inge’s booklet, which addresses mental health and vulnerability at the same time. The Italian version is coming up soon too!





A special peace ball for children in Papua

Uni Papua Football Community uses these balls in their peace football programme. In the face of ethnic conflict and divisions, football is purposefully used as mediator to instil common values and mental resilience across Papua:


We borrowed many ideas from each other with Mosby during the child trauma workshop. His signed ball means a lot more than the autograph of any star player. As for the skills – who needs Messi?

Broadening the workshop to a Southeast Asia group in Indonesia

Did the workshop yesterday go well because it was brief and the participants were relative cohesive from Yogyakarta services? Time to test with a more heterogenous group of practitioners across Southeast Asia today.

We had more time to link theory with practice and to apply in case-based discussion. The range of countries, disciplines and roles was a blessing rather than a hinderance. From psychiatry and play therapy from Jakarta to child psychiatry in Bangkok to an NGO in Papua, somehow it all gelled! 

Contributions gave us all confidence on similarities rather than differences. It was particularly refreshing to hear a broad perspective beyond own practices, with willingness to tackle stigma, form agency links, and enhance child-centred approaches within countries and communities.

Workshop on psychosocial management of trauma in Indonesia

What is so pleasing these days is to see the spontaneous interprofessional constitution of a workshop group, which implies good links on the ground.

Not surprisingly, these links seemed natural in integrating psychotherapeutic approaches such as play therapy with broader children’s psychosocial resilience-building.

A big thanks to our hosts from the both historical and forward-thinking Gadja Mada University in Yogyakarta.

Seyda’s versions of WACIT psychoeducation resources in Turkish language

Hayat girls dancingIf we really want to make training materials accessible to practitioners, caregivers and volunteers in the most remote and adverse circumstances, being free, easily downloadable, and in their own language are small steps along the way – we are taking those barriers into consideration as we are developing different levels of training too.

For a start, a big thanks to Seyda Eruyar for the Turkish language versions. A few more are in the pipeline, but please do contact us if you want to make an impact in your own country!







WACIT Free Psychoeducation Resource 4: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Refugee Children

refugee boyWe will miss Ahmet, who is going back to Turkey but, among several contributions, he captured nicely the key principles of approaching interventions and services for refugee children. It was Ahmet’s interest in vulnerable help-seeking patterns that flavoured his stance of refugee children beyond specific practice implications. Consequently, this is the first WACIT resource that is beginning to ‘speak’ on issues of service planning and delivery, particularly on establishing inter-agency networks and joint care pathways, whatever the resource constraints:



WACIT research in Kenya slums: Who assumed that disadvantage excludes mental health awareness and readiness?

Elijah Getanda has published a difficult study on the views by four groups of stakeholders in Kenya slums (young people, parents, teachers and other professionals) on barriers in identifying and addressing children’s psychosocial needs. The major ones are not surprising, i.e. stigma, lack of resources, challenges in engaging parents, and non-adaptation of intervention in the particular sociocultural context. Nevertheless, promising findings in showing us the way where to focus in implementing the increasing evidence on intervention programmes: