Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (EQUIP)

Background: The World Health Organization Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support (WHO EQUIP) program is currently developing a Universal Foundational Helping Skills Training package. These foundational helping skills are based upon common factors in the mental health and psychological services which have been widely researched and identified as essential and universal prerequisites for the effective delivery of any psychosocial or psychological components in health interventions. The WHO Universal Foundational Helping Skills Training package has the potential to improve competency for basic MHPSS services delivered by any health cadres. The study aims to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation of the Foundational Helping Skills training package by observing outcomes for trainees in the program who not have prior MHPSS skills training.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of FHS training package through change in ENACT competency scores from pre- to post-training and change in knowledge and self-efficacy scores from pre- to post-training; To determine the feasibility, acceptability, and perceived benefit of the FHS competency-based training package to improve the competency of non-specialists naive to MHPSS in foundational helping skills.

Target group: The university level students who have not previously received skill training in mental health and psychosocial support are the main focus of this study. Trainers and ENACT rater or actors will be also part of the study population.

Implementation area: All the activities of this study will be done in the Kathmandu Valley. As the training will be conducted remotely (i.e. through Zoom), the participant might participate from different places of Nepal. Due to COVID-19 epidemic in Nepal, the lockdown state is still ongoing and has not been fully lifted causing restrictions with physical mobility. Additionally, social distancing and personal protection measures have been enforced and the respondents may not always prefer to meet researcher physically for in-person interviews.

Time frame: In this study, the foundational helping skills (FHS) training will be implemented in three waves. The training duration and content is modular and flexible, with approximately 20 hours of modules content and will be for 2.5 days with an additional two research days. Each training will include at least 12 trainees, with a minimum of 2 trainers per training. Each training will include pre and post research days, where they will collect primary and secondary outcomes with support from research staff (trained raters, actors, and qualitative researcher).

Sponsor: George Washington University

Collaborators: World Health Organization

                        Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Nepal

                        Socios En Salud Sucursal, Peru

                        HealthRight International

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