ADDU’s COPERS deploys team for community resilience in Yolanda areas

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]The Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU)-based Association of Psychologists and Helping Professionals, Inc. (APHP), has deployed a 12-person team for the Leyte Community Resilience Enhancement Project (LCREP), a 15-month program for sociotherapeutic intervention in 15 storm surge-hit villages in Tacloban, Palo, and Tanauan in Leyte.

Managed by the APHP, the LCREP is a cooperation between Terre des Hommes, Redemptorist-Tacloban, Columban Mission Society, the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, and the ADDU Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services (COPERS).

Conceived by COPERS director Gail Ilagan and Redemptorist brother Karl Gaspar, the LCREP design was put together by Rodge Lelis, Imma Oani and Ryan Europa to assist communities hit by super typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013.

The LCREP, headed by project manager Randolph Reserva, a COPERS affiliate, aims for a people-centered assessment of community needs towards customizing appropriate interventions to address institutional gaps in mental health and psychosocial support services.

Reserva is currently in Tacloban to oversee community interventions delivered by COPERS affiliates: Hadji Balajadia, Imma Oani, Rodge Lelis, and Terry Mirafuentes of the Department of Psychology faculty; Analyn Cortes of the ADDU Grade School Unit; Roberto Orcajada of the School of Business and Governance; Monna Sawan of the Philippine National Police; Jet Mondares of the Philippine Military Academy; and Lyra Verzosa of the Pambansang Samahan ng Sikolohiyang Pilipino.

Psychology students Ryan Europa (MS) and Cezar Zaldivar (AB) were also sent to provide assistance to the teams.

Joining the COPERS-deployed resource persons are community partners from Makapawa, Redemptorist-Tacloban, and the DRRM, EMT, and Civil Affairs units of the 8ID.

Thus far, the teams have reported the conduct of grief counseling, mental health assessment, various training for psychological first aid and basic life support skills, and child-focused psychosocial support undertaken in seven Tacloban barangays and two barangays in Palo. They are expected to complete scheduled activities on Monday, 13 October 2014. (COPERS)

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