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Min Brophy announces support for mental health of frontline health workers in Ethiopia & Jordan

Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D, today announced an innovative pilot programme to provide vital mental health support to health workers on the frontline of COVID-19 in Ethiopia and Jordan.

Speaking at the 2nd Annual Global Health Education Ireland Symposium, webhosted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Minister Brophy said:

“When I came into this job, I said that I wanted to do something to help address the wellbeing and resilience of health care workers in developing countries through this challenging time.  Today, I am delighted to announce a partnership between Irish Aid and the HSE to support the mental health of frontline health workers in Ethiopia and Jordan. Both countries’ health systems are facing particular strains, with COVID-19 increasing the pressure on health systems already stressed by the requirements of hosting millions of refugees, regional conflict and resource constraints.

 

I hope that this innovative partnership will enable Ireland to shine a light on the wellbeing of health workers, as well as mental health more broadly, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also expect we will learn valuable lessons from this pilot which we can take home, as well as informing Irish Aid’s health interventions in other partner countries.  But, most importantly, this programme help underpin wellbeing and resilience of health workers in Jordan and Ethiopia at a time when it is most needed.”

 

Working with the HSE, Irish Aid will provide technical support to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia and to the Institute of Family Health in Jordan through the Irish Embassy in Amman over the next year. The HSE has provided support to workers on the frontline in Ireland, and will share Irish experience, but also expects this pilot to generate learning to inform Irish Aid's work. The pilot will develop awareness materials and training videos in local languages, and pilot and will also provide counselling support. The materials will promote self-care, stress management and physical and mental health.

 

ENDS

PRESS OFFICE

23 OCTOBER 2020

Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D, today announced an innovative pilot programme to provide vital mental health support to health workers on the frontline of COVID-19 in Ethiopia and Jordan.

Speaking at the 2nd Annual Global Health Education Ireland Symposium, webhosted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Minister Brophy said:

“When I came into this job, I said that I wanted to do something to help address the wellbeing and resilience of health care workers in developing countries through this challenging time.  Today, I am delighted to announce a partnership between Irish Aid and the HSE to support the mental health of frontline health workers in Ethiopia and Jordan. Both countries’ health systems are facing particular strains, with COVID-19 increasing the pressure on health systems already stressed by the requirements of hosting millions of refugees, regional conflict and resource constraints.

 

I hope that this innovative partnership will enable Ireland to shine a light on the wellbeing of health workers, as well as mental health more broadly, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also expect we will learn valuable lessons from this pilot which we can take home, as well as informing Irish Aid’s health interventions in other partner countries.  But, most importantly, this programme help underpin wellbeing and resilience of health workers in Jordan and Ethiopia at a time when it is most needed.”

 

Working with the HSE, Irish Aid will provide technical support to the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia and to the Institute of Family Health in Jordan through the Irish Embassy in Amman over the next year. The HSE has provided support to workers on the frontline in Ireland, and will share Irish experience, but also expects this pilot to generate learning to inform our  Irish Aid's work. The pilot will develop awareness materials and training videos in local languages, and pilot and will also provide counselling support. The materials will promote self-care, stress management and physical and mental health.

 

Notes for Editors

1. This initiative builds on long term HSE partnerships with Irish Aid on global health issues.  It will develop awareness-raising materials, in local languages, as well as training and guidance materials for healthcare workers with a focus support for wellbeing. It will also pilot psychosocial supports along the lines of the ‘psychological first aid’ model.  The overall pilot will cost €150,000 in total, over one year, and will also benefit from pro bono support by HSE managers.

2. Irish Aid with the support of the HSE will also support Ethiopia and Jordan to share lessons learned from the pilot, with a particular but not exclusive focus on Irish Aid partner countries. Irish Aid will also ensure that the World Health Organisation and health counterparts in other countries can benefit from these lessons.

3. HSE support for staff mental health can be accessed here https://hse.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/

4. Irish Aid has been responding to the global health response to the COVID-19 pandemic through support to WHO, the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, GAVI the vaccine alliance, and through partnerships at country level through the Irish Embassy network.  The total Irish Aid response to COVID-19 this year is over €140 million.

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