SAW, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, is part of the Mental Health Assessment Project (MHAP). MHAP has developed and tested a community-based mental health counseling intervention. SAW entered into this partnership in July 2010 and took part in the initial research phases, which included qualitative research in the community and validation of the screening instrument. These preliminary research phases culminated in the development of mental health measures applicable to the particular realities faced by adults from Burma living in the Mae Sot area. Once the mental health issues faced by migrant workers were more fully understood, SAW staff were trained as counselors and have been providing services to SAW clients and the wider community.
SAW counselors (15), lead clinical supervisor and trainer (1) and clinical supervisors (2) have been trained in the provision of Components Based Intervention [CBI], which is a combination of a range of mental health treatments – Cognitive Based Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Exposure Therapy, and Behavioral Activation, among others. All of these therapies aim to teach clients new skills for dealing with their problems, such as symptoms of depression and trauma. CBI picks the most helpful elements from each intervention and counselors trained in these elements therefore have an array of skills to select from, depending on the needs of their clients. Counselors can design the treatment plan they feel is most appropriate using all that is available to them in the interest of their client. SAW staff counselors are available to provide treatment to clients in all SAW programs. Between 2012 and 2014, SAW will have a team of 17 mental health workers who will deliver counseling services to communities in Phop Phra, as well as providing more systematic mental health services to the residents of SAW shelters.