Healing healers: DOH, WHO, Australian gov’t launch mental health drive for healthcare workers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Australian government, launched a mental health initiative for 3,000 healthcare workers.
The WHO said the initiative is called “The Wellness Movement,” and it is based on practical behavioral approaches to support healthcare workers’ mental health.
“Creating a mental-health positive culture in our workplaces is integral to the flourishing of not only our healthcare workers as they fulfill their role as healers, but also the cultivation of relationships among their families and friends, as they bring home healthy habits for mental health and wellness,” said DOH Undersecretary Beverly Lorraine Ho in a joint statement.
The event was launched on Monday at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center and will be followed by the rollout of “community pods” or safe spaces for wellness in 30 hospitals across the country.
According to the WHO, healthcare workers will be given low-cost, practical tools designed for their needs.
“Australia’s support to the Philippines’ mental health and psychosocial services through Project [Building COVID-safe Responses And Voices for Equity] is part of our larger assistance on mental health wellness in the Philippines. At the onset of the pandemic, we built on our partnerships with DOH, WHO, and other [United Nations] agencies to identify sustainable solutions to these challenges and deliver practical support to health workers,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu PSM.
It also aimed to promote a supportive and empowering organizational culture. The community pods will also be monitored to assess their impact on the workers.
“This innovative work with the DOH and the Australian Government is a start to explore and implement practical and scalable ways to improve the wellness and resilience of the country’s healthcare workforce at the individual and organizational levels,” said Graham Harrison, the WHO Representative’s Officer-in-Charge to the Philippines.
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