by Dakshayani Madangopal
BANDRA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 6, 2014: A four day training programme for NGO representatives was conducted at Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, Mumbai from Sept 22-25, 2014, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with Plan-India, on implementing drug use prevention and treatment services for children, adolescents and families. The Don Bosco team was represented by Dakshayani Madangopal (Don Bosco Research Centre), Bindu Chadda (Shelter Don Bosco) and Nikita Tanpure (Don Bosco Balprafulta).
Elizabeth Mattfeld of the UNODC welcomed the NGO representatives and outlined the objectives to be covered over the four days of the training programme. Day one, reviewed effective drug prevention and treatment practices, unique developmental needs of children and adolescents and an introduction to eight evidence based psychosocial protocols that needed to be part of a comprehensive and patient centered programme. Day two, covered the implementation of the eight psychosocial modules for children and adolescents (in education, understanding harms of drugs, nutrition, hygiene, personal safety, danger and trauma, communication and artistic expression).
On the third day, different screening and assessment tools were presented for assessing professional skills, followed by practice of basic counselling skills and a session on ethics and human rights. The final day of the training was devoted to methods of developing systems, implementing a comprehensive approach, problem solving and meeting challenges. This four day training programme was followed by a day's training for trainers (TOT), wherein potential trainers were given tips on the preparations required to carry out similar training, creation of checklists, importance of practice, differences between adult and children learning and different learning styles.
Elizabeth's vast experience in the field was demonstrated by her ability to keep the audience enthused, focused and motivated over the period of the training through highly interactive group work and exercises. The prime takeaways from this programme were the realization of the need for a scientific, data driven, patient centered approach, the need for professional skills in screening, assessment and counselling, the implementation of all psychosocial protocols within a framework of ethics and human rights (mere knowledge will not lead to behavior change) and the adoption of a systemic perspective in drug use prevention and treatment services.