Humanitarian response teams in Darien receive training on Psychological First Aid

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted a psychological first aid training session for 24 humanitarian workers that provide services to migrants in transit at the Temporary Migrant Reception Centres (ETRM) in the Darien province.

Through the Western Hemisphere Program, implemented by IOM and funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the United States Department of State, psychological first aid tools are provided to address complex emotional situations that may arise when providing assistance to migrants.

Furthermore, at the training session that took place on 7 February, 2024, participants reinforced their empathy and understanding skills towards the migration experience, and self-care was promoted to strengthen the emotional resilience of staff and ensure effective and sustainable assistance.

Through practical dynamics, field worers from agencies of the United Nations System in Panama such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as international organizations such as HIAS, the Panamanian Red Cross and RET International, addressed fundamental issues such as the definition of psychological first aid (PFA) and other basic principles, ethical considerations, psychosocial factors migrants might be exposed to, key components of PFA), identification of emotional crisis situations, self-care routines and resilience.

PFA are brief, practical interventions designed to reduce emotional distress and promote resilience in people who have experienced traumatic or stressful events. In the context of migration, the mental health approach is crucial because, depending on the conditions in which they migrate, people must face stressful and even traumatic events that challenge their coping abilities and that can generate different manifestations of emotional distress.

For more information, contact IOM Panama's communications team at

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