Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) has launched its 6th Regional Support Forum which will be held on 13 to 15 October this year.
The launch was held virtually today where it was highlighted that the forum, which was supposed to be held in Maputo, Mozambique will now commence virtually under the theme “Innovate, Integrate and thrive.
In a statement, REPSSI said the forum will give a platform for stakeholders like government, civil societies and international partners to share innovative practice and latest research data that impact on the provision of Psychosocial Support and Mental Health to girls, boys and youth.
“The forum will be hybrid – combining physical and virtual interactions and will bring together over 300 delegates drawn from a wide range of partners in the region and internationally. The Forum will promote awareness and understanding of the importance of integrating psychosocial support (PSS) in, humanitarian emergencies, early childhood development, sexual and reproductive health and protection and livelihoods in order to help children and youth thrive and become productive citizens,” reads the statement.
The Forum will be held in a period where the global Covid 19 pandemic has driven governments to enforce lockdowns which have imposed serious economic problems and health crisis. These problems have caused loss of livelihoods and mental health problems to people, including children.
“Covid 19 has increased inequality as children from vulnerable communities continue to miss school due to closures and lack of resources for e-learning, loss of care givers or family members, loss of family income, increased violence at home and lack of access to child protection services. If children fail to return to school, cases of unsafe sexual practices, early and unintended pregnancies will increase,”
“Unfortunately girls, boys, and youth face some of these challenges without receiving adequate psychosocial support and access to mental health services. Stakeholders should invest in psychosocial support and access to mental health services, “ the statement reads.
The Forum will see leading PSS researchers sharing knowledge on psychosocial support. Children and youths will also be given a platform to air their voices on the challenges they are facing.