Mental Health Programme
At CCT's homes we have a comprehensive and effective program in place catering to all the physical health requirements of our children, but their physical health is really only one part of the equation. To enable us to make a true intervention in these children's lives it is essential that we also cater to their mental health needs.
To discover the best way to establish an effective mental health programme we sought the help of a consultant, a clinical psychologist, who is based in the UK.
The consultant found that, while the children at CCT are now being provided with a secure home, they displayed behaviours consistent with experiences of past trauma and disrupted attachment. Many of the children at CCT have not had the opportunity to experience a secure attachment before arriving at CCT and have already begun to form a negative view of themselves and others. They have also learned a limited set of behaviours for getting their needs met.
Rather than specific interventions or one-to-one counselling, (as practiced in a Western model), we are working to implement the House Model of parenting, making adaptations where necessary so that we remain sensitive to the traditional Khmer culture. The foundations of the House Model depend on creating a base in which children feel safe, loved, and secure enough to explore their world. A positive family atmosphere is cultivated to give the children a strong sense of belonging. This in turn will help them develop control of their emotions, their behaviour and the ability to ask for help when it's needed.
This initial period of consultancy and staff workshops proved to be a very good platform in beginning to address the issue of the children's mental health. We have held two more workshops with other psychologists since, which have been a huge success and invaluable to CCT's staff and children. However, we are aware that the process of running a successful programme, such as this, requires regular training of our staff.
We are seeking funding to be able to further develop this programme. We would like to implement self-esteem classes into the children's regular curriculum. To facilitate this, we would like to provide Jedtha Pon, CCT's director, with the opportunity to do further training abroad, which he could bring back to the rest of the CCT team.
If you are interested in supporting this project, please contact us for more information.