Cycle of Care: Implementation of Psychological Support Systems for Client and Helper
There was an increased need for psychological support due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Access to mental health services in the Philippines became difficult because of social distancing measures, costly fees, and the lack of available skilled mental health practitioners. In response, the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services opened the Brief Psychological Services (BPS) Program to provide free online psychological support for adult Filipinos and to train and support psychology graduate students to provide the BPS service. The BPS systems emphasized providing psychological support for both the BPS client and the trainee, the BPS responder, who are both going through the pandemic crisis themselves. The following steps were done: 1) identifying risks and creating safety protocols 2) forming a core team serving as liaison between client and responder 3) linking responders with psychosocial support through group mentorship and individual counseling sessions 4) providing caseload management 5) providing psychoeducation packets and referral resources depending on the need of the client. This system seems to benefit both client and responder and can be replicated. Over five months, following these systems, the BPS team has provided 829 sessions to 587 unique clients aged 18-70 years old, with 11 BPS responders, and 4 mentors.
Ledesma, D., & MarFn, A. (2021, September 30-October 2). Cycle of care: implementation of psychological support systems for client and helper [Conference presentation]. PAP 2021 Convention, Manila, Philippines.