MHPSS, also known as Mental Health and Psychological Support, is support that people receive to protect their mental health.
We believe that children are the future, which is why ASC has been working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) since 16 November 2020 to support children’s mental health, especially that the struggles of many go unnoticed by parents.
Our MHPSS project divides children into three groups according to their ages. Each group attends an hour and a half session, where its members participate in relevant activities that are mindful of social distancing. On average, our sessions are attended by 30 to 40 children each time.
A specialist supervises the sessions, sets the ground rules, and assigns games and activities. Through such activities, we are able to determine why the kids answer or react a certain way, what their background is, and whether they need individual help or if they are able to function within the group normally. Teamwork is our indicator of whether the kids are accepting one another and if they are participating.
We also make sure that the children know their rights and raise awareness among them about saying the word “no” if they feel compelled to say it.
In these sessions, the children open up and express what they feel at home and outside. It takes a lot of work from our social worker to make them trust her and she emphasizes that everything they say is confidential and will not be held against them.
However, they are not only receiving MHPSS, they also get to have fun by decorating for Christmas and learning about Saint Barbara and eating the traditional wheat dessert.