UNHCR organized a psychological first aid training for key partners in Goris and Kapan
13 November 2022
The training programme included a variety of sessions conducted by UNHCR colleagues.
On 11-13 November 2022, in Jermuk, Vayots Dzor province, UNHCR Armenia organized a Psychological First Aid Training for Goris Municipality team and representatives of Syunik Child and Family Support Center, and Children’s Support Center in Kapan - mainly social workers and service providers.
In her opening speech, Ms. Irina Yolyan, the Deputy Mayor of Goris, thanked UNHCR and noted:
“Psychological first aid is a crucial training that can greatly benefit the colleagues standing on the frontline in Goris and Kapan communities lending a helping hand to the displaced people in need of support.”
In addition, the Deputy Mayor expressed her high appreciation for the ongoing fruitful cooperation with the UNHCR Office in Yerevan and the UNHCR Field Unit in Goris, specifically in terms of humanitarian assistance provided to families displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh. Ms. Yolyan particularly highlighted UNHCR’s timely support to the families affected by the military escalation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on 13-14 September 2022.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Almaz Burkutov, the UNHCR Armenia Officer-in-Charge, extended his gratitude to the Goris Municipality and the community-based organizations for the ongoing productive cooperation with UNHCR.
The need for a training as such was voiced by the Deputy Mayor of Goris during one of her discussions with UNHCR on capacity-building and community support activities in the host community of Goris.
“We are glad to have organized a psychological first aid training for all of you - frontline workers gathered today in Jermuk. Let me use this opportunity and, on behalf of UNHCR, express my appreciation to Goris Municipality and community-based NGOs in Kapan for your hospitality and support extended to the displaced families living in the welcoming communities of Goris and Kapan,” Mr. Burkutov said, wishing the participants to have effective training sessions.
The training programme included a variety of sessions conducted by UNHCR colleagues: Ms. Sahakanush Yeghiazaryan, Head of Goris Field Unit, and Mr. Karen Khachatryan, Senior Community-Based Protection Assistant, as well as Ms. Ani Azizyan, a professional psychologist from Intra Mental Health Center in Yerevan.
UNHCR’s presentation on the Agency’s protection mandate, and its work in emergencies and the humanitarian response was combined with case studies, discussions, and a Q&A session. The Psychological First Aid training included sessions on stress management, psychological first aid with a focus on empathy and support, prevention of burnout, and self-regulation.
The participants had the opportunity to understand the theory and consequence of the stress and psychological difficulties triggered by traumatic events and received practical advice and useful techniques on how to cope with emotional stress and relieve anxiety.
“Training on psychological first aid is indeed a very important means for front-line workers for helping the beneficiaries reduce anxiety and provide immediate support,” said Ani Azizyan.
“At the same time, this training is crucial for you as it will also introduce some self-regulation tools for social workers and other service providers to prevent psychological trauma and burnout you may face during your everyday hard work,” the psychologist explained.
The three-day training was conducted in an interactive manner, with practical exercises and roleplays, with team building and energizers in between. As expressed by the participants, it gave them the opportunity to acquire useful information and techniques benefitting both the beneficiaries and them, as well as to do networking, share ideas and experiences, and socialize.