Psychosocial Support Services in the Pacific Region

The Mandala Foundation works to strengthen the level of psychosocial support implemented by organisations working in the Pacific region. Our capacity development approach aims to strengthen the skills and capability of local NGO managers.

Support activities offered in the Pacific include:

  • Facilitating regional psychosocial support hubs and forums to raise awareness of psychosocial support approaches in the Pacific region
  • Consulting with national staff and with key local mental health networks, NGOs, governments and other stakeholders to develop systematic approaches to staff care
  • Providing training and advice on psychosocial risk management strategies and staff support tools to assist local managers
  • Mapping and monitoring locally generated psychosocial staff support development initiatives
  • Offering mentoring to national staff on psychosocial support principles
  • Identifying locally viable, culturally appropriate ways to implement psychosocial assistance in a crisis

We are interested in partnering with organisations working in the Pacific, with a view to integrating psychosocial support approaches into management systems and project design.

National staff working for international organisations in their local communities have particular staff support needs and challenges that are often not adequately addressed in organisational policies and practices. We are particularly interested in working with local staff to address these issues.

If you are interested in partnering with the Mandala Foundation on projects in the Pacific region, please contact us.

Regional Psychosocial Support Hubs

The Mandala Foundation has also helped establish psychosocial support hubs in the Asia-Pacific region.

The psychosocial hubs aim to strengthen existing collegial and peer support networks and advocate for a stronger psychosocial focus when responding to crises at country, local or workplace levels. The hubs provide participants with ongoing access to psychosocial support resources from the Mandala Foundation through locally coordinated networks.

Hubs have been established in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka, and we welcome enquiries about establishing a hub in other countries in the Pacific. Please contact us for more information.

Pacific Psychosocial Forum

The Mandala Foundation has facilitated two major regional psychosocial forums (in 2008 and 2012) to advocate for and enhance psychosocial awareness and systems of support throughout the Pacific region.

On both occasions we worked closely with a local planning committee to ensure that the topics, content, format and facilitation of the forum addressed local and regional priorities in the Pacific.

Members of the local planning committee at the 2012 Regional Psychosocial Forum in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

2012 Forum: Solomon Islands

The theme for the 2012 forum, held in Honiara, Solomon Islands, was ‘Enabling Resilience in a Crisis’.

The three-day forum was structured into country, organisational and community streams and shared key learnings on topics such as effective psychosocial responses to crises in the Pacific; organisational policies and practices that enable resilient responses; strengths and gaps in community responses; and strategies for supporting community members with diverse needs.

Download forum reports: Summary | Full

Download tips sheet: Factors enabling resilience in the Pacific

Members of the local planning committee at the 2008 Regional Psychosocial Forum in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

2008 Forum: Vanuatu

The theme for the 2008 forum, held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, was ‘Nurturing Professional Practice’.

The forum was aimed at emerging aid and development managers working in Vanuatu and the broader Pacific region. Key topics addressed included psychosocial approaches to supporting local mental health issues; special issues relevant to the Pacific (e.g. gender, counselling, workplace issues); and an introduction to psychosocial support in emergency settings.

Download forum reports: Summary | Full

Participants at the 2012 Regional Psychosocial Forum in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Sunset in the Solomon Islands

Timor-Leste

The Mandala Foundation has a consulting psychologist providing context-specific, field-based psychosocial care and education to local and expatriate staff of national and international NGOs operating in Timor-Leste.

Please visit our Timor-Leste page to find out more about psychosocial support services in Timor-Leste.