Mind-Spring has developed several courses in order to offer mental health education and psychosocial support to the different refugees in their native languages and cultures.
Mind-Spring ‘Training the Trainer' Course
Mind-Spring trainers conduct mental health education and psychosocial support groups, which are facilitated by trained refugees and asylum seekers. After completing the training successfully, in both theory and practice, they receive the Mind-Spring certificate of ‘Qualified Trainer'.
The training activities are, currently, being facilitated on a voluntary basis. The benefits of doing this work for the Mind-Spring trainer (apart from the fulfilment of helping fellow refugees) are:
Free professional training
Acquiring work experience in the mental health sector
Building up a professional network
This development increases the chance to find a position in the field of mental health care. Mind-Spring also gives assistance to trainers in working with other courses on mental health care for refugees, asylum seekers or migrants. On this website several links are mentioned that may be helpful in exploring different options and Mind-Spring uses its existing network in the field of mental health care to facilitate development.
‘Training of Coaches' - Mental Health Care
In co-operation with a coach from a local mental health care institution, Mind-Spring trainers facilitate a group. This is done with a view to experienced Mind-Spring trainers, eventually, being able to facilitate groups independently. Another objective of Mind-Spring is the training of mental health workers to become Mind-Spring coaches. Mind-Spring operates throughout the country and has active trainers in various locations, making it necessary to work in conjunction with mental health care institutions in all locations. Mental health care institutions that work with asylum seekers and refugees, receive the Mind-Spring course very well. At the present moment ten institutions co-operate as partners in the Mind-Spring courses due to having coaches available. When a new co-operation is being initiated, Mind-Spring offers ‘Training of Coaches' for the Mind-Spring partners.
Implementation of mental health education courses initially took place within asylum seekers centres in the Netherlands . Employees of the ‘Centraal Orgaan Opvang Asielzoekers' (COA), which manages asylum seeker centres, found that they frequently encountered problems in their field of work with asylum seekers. By request, Mind-Spring organises courses for this group, which provide more insight into asylum seekers problems and issues and how to deal with those in a daily context as a COA worker.
An added advantage is that COA workers become better informed about the Mind-Spring courses and are more likely to refer asylum seekers to the Mind-Spring meetings.
Several other organisations have approached Mind-Spring with unmet needs regarding expertise in our field of work. Although this is not the main objective of Mind-Spring, it will be taken into account to see if these needs can be met, by offering specific courses and training which will be tailored to their apparent need.