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Principal Investigators: Ruth Wells and Simon Rosenbaum, University of New South Wales

Purpose

This mixed-methods research study will support the mental health and wellbeing of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) practitioners working with displaced communities.

Specifically, the study aims to determine the impact of an online video conferencing, peer-supervision programme on:

  1. Staff support: the wellbeing and burnout levels of local MHPSS practitioners working with Syrian and Rohingya displaced communities in Syria, Turkey and Bangladesh.
  2. Service quality: practitioner technical skills to improve patients perceived service satisfaction, acceptability and appropriateness for displaced Syrian and Rohingya accessing MHPSS services.
  3. What aspects of the supervision programme are associated with changes in staff support and service quality?

The quantitative measurement of both staff and patient outcomes will inform development of supervision programmes, while qualitative analysis of focus group and video data will identify barriers and enablers.

Ongoing stakeholder engagement through integrated knowledge translation specialists in each setting will support organisational engagement with supervision programmes.

Dr Ammar Beetar

Hope Revival Organisation

In life incidents happen. You go through some difficult moments with your spouse and others. Having someone there to help you through gives you a sense of reassurance. In a way it passes safely. It is like having a guardian angel. Being supervised in practice gives me almost the same feeling. It feels good that no harm will take place to me, my colleagues or to the beneficiaries with someone overseeing that everything remains within the boundaries of the profession. No matter how hard and challenging the situation I’m dealing with is, as long as there is someone who can bring me back to my senses and lend me a hand when I need, I can make it through with an ever-increasing sense of confidence and competency.

Expected Outcomes

The following outcomes have been identified as the pre-conditions for achieving the desired impact – to strengthen ethical MHPSS service provision in humanitarian settings.

  1. Staff Outcomes: staff well-being, service provider satisfaction, happy and healthy workforce, lower turnover, increased competency of service providers, and enhanced sense of safety.
  2. Outcomes for displaced Syrian and Rohingya: patient satisfaction (reduced mental health symptoms, improved functionality etc.)
  3. MHPSS Infrastructural Outcomes: the provision of necessary means and infrastructure (staff care policies, organisational support etc.), availability of supervision framework policy, standardised protocols, donors and funding agencies and necessary infrastructure and means.

The mixed-methods approach will provide quantitative evidence of the effectiveness, while rich qualitative data will enable us to identify how factors such as the displaced population (Syrian / Rohingya), setting (camp/urban), displaced or host community practitioners, and whether language and culture is shared by pracitioners and patients, impact on intervention implementation. This will support the scale-up of the intervention to diverse settings and identify potential facilitators and barriers to implementation.

Psychosocial staff bringing joy in North West Syria. Credit: Hope Revival Organisation.

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