Training ethnic workers in mental health work

This paper develops issues raised in Hans Buwalda's article `Children of war in the Philippines'. It examines issues in training ethnic workers in areas of recent or on-going armed conflict, in mental health work. It explores the possibilities of combining Western therapeutic techniques with the local and culturally appropriate ways of working. It stresses the need to acknowledge and address the emotional impact of the work and participants' own concerns, and discusses the kind of support workers need. It looks at teaching methods and course content, with a view to creating a safe atmosphere and an interesting programme, taking into account cultural considerations. Finally it suggests ways of developing models of training for the future. This article also appears in the Development in Practice Reader Development for Health.