The conference will delve into the internationally recognized MHPSS (mental health and psychological support) system, which plays a vital role in crises such as epidemics, wars, mass immigration, and natural disasters. Providing MHPSS support during emergencies involves collaboration among professionals from various fields, including healthcare, education, social services, homeland security, and defense, going beyond the provision of medical or psychological services.
"The past three years have been a test for all of us, challenging the sustainability of the mental health services we provide. If we want to safeguard people's well-being, prevent psychological issues, and support those already facing challenges, we must swiftly learn from these experiences," stated Health Minister Riina Sikkut. "Considering that the next crisis may be just around the corner, it's crucial that individuals receive the necessary help as quickly as possible."
"During the early days of the crisis triggered by Russian aggression, Estonia swiftly implemented several solutions to offer psychosocial support to refugees. Thanks to these efforts, individuals affected by war trauma received the necessary assistance, and specialists received vital training," added Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo. "By introducing a comprehensive mental health support system involving multiple sectors, we can respond more efficiently and systematically to those in need and better prepare for future crises, utilizing the existing resources of various organizations."
The introduction of MHPSS in Estonia is a significant step towards ensuring access to the necessary help and support for restoring and maintaining mental health during crisis situations. It is crucial to raise awareness of the guidelines within this system and provide proper training to professionals capable of offering meaningful support.
The conference will take place on June 1 and 2 at the Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel in Tallinn. Opening the conference will be Sirje Karis, the spouse of the President of the Republic of Estonia, and Riina Sikkut, the Minister of Health. Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo will participate in a panel discussion where experts will share their experiences in organizing psychosocial support in countries hosting refugees. International specialists from the World Health Organization, International Organization for Migration, and UN Refugee Agency will also contribute their knowledge and expertise in the field of mental health and psychosocial support during crises.
The conference is organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs in collaboration with the WHO, International Organization for Migration, and UN Refugee Agency. You can follow the live stream of the conference on the Ministry of Social Affairs' Facebook page on June 1.
For more information, please visit the conference page: "Vaimse tervise ja psühhosotsiaalne tugi kriisides" | Sotsiaalministeerium (sm.ee)