Forty-six officers from the Community-Oriented Policing Section (COPS) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) have graduated from a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Training course implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to improve their service to vulnerable populations including migrants and survivors of gender-based violence.
The sessions were designed to strengthen the capacity of the COPS in responding to the psychosocial needs of both management and staff, as well as improving their service to vulnerable populations including migrants and survivors of gender-based violence. Topics covered in the course for these frontline officers included Psychological First Aid; Trauma Informed Care; Mental Health Awareness and Self Care for Staff; Team Care and Peer Care; Psychosocial Support for Gender-Based Violence Survivors
This training, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), is the latest in a series conducted in collaboration with the NGO Families in Action. To date, over 100 members of the COPS have graduated from the training course.
At the graduation ceremony, held on Friday 3rd March, PRM Regional Refugee Coordinator, Mr. Eric Aldrich said that the PRM’s priorities are to “save lives, ease human suffering and to promote the dignity of displaced populations and the communities that host them.” As such, he noted that the US Government is proud to partner with the IOM and other partners to support capacity building across various sectors - including the police department – throughout Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region.
Ms. Jewel Ali, Head of Office, IOM remarked that, “IOM seeks to provide capacity building for Government stakeholders and NGOs in a number of areas including Mental Health and Psychosocial Support which includes elements of psychological first aid and Trauma Informed Care. IOM is also closely working with the TTPS on several other initiatives, including providing welfare kits to the Gender Based Violence Unit and working with the Police Youth Clubs throughout Trinidad and Tobago to bring migrants and locals together through the use of culture and food.”
Inspector (Ag.) Kurt Callender, COPS remarked that this Mental Health and Psychosocial support training, assists the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to fulfill its mandate as it is in keeping with the TTPS Strategic Plan for 2022-2024 especially as it pertains to Strategic Priority Area Number Five that speaks to occupational health and wellness for all officers.
IOM’s programmatic approach to protection includes the integration of MHPSS and other capacity building sessions including Trafficking in Persons into its multisectoral response and the recognition of opportunities to collaborate, as well as engage with key partners, such as law enforcement/frontline officials who comprise the protection continuum.