Psychosocial support unit launched for protesters

All cases to be treated with the highest regard of confidentiality

20 October 2020 | Education

Enzo Amuele

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), in partnership with Regain Trust, has launched a psychosocial support unit for all protesters of the #ShutItAllDown Movement.

The unit is aimed at dealing with possible trauma cases that could have occurred with persons during the recent national protest under #ShutItAllDown.

The protests, which began due to the rise in gender-based violence cases in the country, consisted of a crowd of young people protesting and calling for an end to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and femicide in Namibia. They were dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets and 26 participants were detained by members of the Namibian Police's Special Field Force.

The two organisations partnered to assist students and learners who may have been affected by the recent rise against SGBV.

Constance Muparadzi, the head social worker, says the Regain Trust offers psychosocial support to anyone who seeks help, especially those who have gone through sexual and gender-based violence.

Chippo Mavetere, a social worker student at the University of Namibia, says psychosocial support is important because it helps individuals and communities to heal the psychological wounds and rebuild social structures after an emergency or critical event such as the ongoing protest.

According to the organisations, all cases will be treated with the highest regard of confidentiality.

According to Thrive Mahua, secretary for gender and social Welfare at Nanso, the initiative is mainly focused on students as their primary objective as an organisation is to protect the rights and interests of Namibian students and learners.

He added that the organisation decided on the initiative as a way to assist the #ShutItAllDown movement.

“As an organisation, we value mental health and after such a deeply emotional and energy-consuming protest we sought it necessary to assist our students in handling what they have just lived through,” he said.

Students who require counselling should send email to [email protected] with their details and preferred time of session, and Nanso will send it through to Regain Trust and set the date.

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