Training of Trainers (TOT) for Psychosocial and Mental Health Initiatives in Countries Affected by War, Violence and Natural Disasters

January 11 – February 1, 2009
Arua, Uganda  

“Become the change that you want to see in the world.” -- Gandhi

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This course is sponsored by Global Psycho-Social Initiatives (GSPI) of Kenya and Egypt, International Trauma Studies Program (ITSP) of USA and the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) of Uganda.

This course prepares TRAINERS to train teams to provide psychosocial and mental health initiatives in developing countries affected by war, violence and natural disasters.

It is held in a rural African setting and includes 2 weeks in a field based classroom and 1 week directly in the field.

The course is taught in a participatory style emulating the training methods that trainees are learning how to use in their future work.

Living and learning in a cross cultural rural African environment and sharing experiences with participants from countries around the world is a key component of this course. Participants have attended TOT in Uganda from the countries of Algeria, Afghanistan, Belgium, Burundi, Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, Namibia, Nepal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Tibet, Uganda and the USA.


1.  Classroom overview of psychosocial and mental health programming including:

• History of psychosocial and mental health work in the developing world;
• Review of international research about the psychosocial and mental health consequences of   war, violence and natural disasters;
• Inter-Agency Standing Committee guidelines on Psychosocial and Mental Heath Support in Emergencies as the focal point for understanding multiple levels of intervention and their impact;
• Implications for working within the culture, context and capacities of affected populations;
• Review of 11 steps leading to the development of psychosocial programs beginning with models of assessment and leading to comprehensive intervention strategies and methods of monitoring and evaluation.

2.  Classroom practice of skills for training psychosocial and mental health teams including:

• How to assess a training group;
• Development of curriculum;
• Participatory presentation or lecture skills;
• Techniques for facilitating classroom discussions;
• Experiential training techniques including use of role play, drama, media, posters, music, story telling, etc.

3.  Field based learning in rural African communities:

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” Gandhi

• Field visits to observe Ugandan psychosocial workers in their daily work;
• Participation in a field based SNAPSHOT assessment to determine problems, needs and resources of a violence affected community[
• Practice of newly learned training skills through facilitation of community education workshops.

4.  Personal growth and development:

• Enhancing cross cultural understanding and appreciation.;
• Finding “your voice” and style as a trainer;
• Building confidence as a trainer;
• Learning methods of to care for caregivers and self-care.


Dr. Nancy Baron is the Director of Global Psycho-Social Initiatives (GPSI) and works with UN organizations, governments, and international and local NGOs providing consultation, assessment, research, training, program design and evaluation for psycho-social, mental health and peace building programming in conflict and post-conflict countries. Since 1989, she has lived and worked in Africa in Burundi, Egypt, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda; Asia in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan and Sri Lanka; Eastern Europe in Albania and Kosovo and in the South Pacific on the Solomon Islands. Her resume and publications can be viewed on


The training is held in Arua, Uganda at the resource centre owned by the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) of Uganda ( The centre is a newly built complex of buildings, located 3 miles from the center of town. Trainees are housed in comfortable dormitories with modern amenities including individual rooms with shared bathing and toilet facilities. This peaceful rural site is surrounded by local people living in traditional mud and thatch homes. The town and rural area are safe and secure!


Applicants should have education in psychology, social work, psychiatry, peace building or related fields and experience working with psychosocial and/or mental health issues.


Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion for 120 hours of study. Participants enrolled in formal education programs can also request credit from their institutions for attending the training courses.


Tuition, room and board, local transportation and a 2 day safari to Murchinson Falls is covered by the fee of $2900 US dollars.


Final Deadline for applications is November 30, 2008.
click here to download an application.


All questions are welcome.
Contact Dr. Nancy Baron at: or

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Dr. Nancy Baron, trainer