Developing Interventions to Address Stress and Mental Health Problems among Women Migrant Workers

Short title

Developing Interventions to Address Stress and Mental Health Problems among Women Migrant Workers

Start date - End date

Wed, 09/30/2009 to Wed, 03/30/2011

Brief description of the initiative

The project identified evidence on the mental health issues and concerns of Filipino women migrant workers, thereby generating rights- and gender-based interventions at the Philippine governmental level to improve the general conditions of women migrant workers and prevent discrimination, abuse and violation of migrants' human rights in all phases of the migration cycle.

Results and lessons learned

The research component of this project included the review of relevant literature, the conduct of a survey – which was carried out through interviews in the Philippines and the Netherlands - and the write-up of the case studies from both countries. A validation workshop for the survey results was done back-to-back with another major activity, the National Consultation workshop for the development of Intervention Packages for women migrant domestic workers. Participants from national and regional government agencies, civil society organizations, migrant worker organizations came together to discuss and validate the results of the survey, as well as to brainstorm on possible interventions that would address mental heath and well-being issues of migrant domestic workers.

The workshop was also used as an opportunity to discuss the possible content of the training module that was conducted for service providers. This training is the last major activity that was undertaken by this project and it aimed to build capacity of service providers on counseling and psychological first aid for women migrant workers. Both Project Teams have also engaged in publicity-related activities in relation to the project. ACHIEVE was interviewed about the research by a TV news-magazine show called OFW Diaries. This was aired in one of the top television stations in the country. VUMC-MHCC had also published a short article on the project in an academic journal.

Status

Complete

Project number

P-102

Budget

154,689 Euro

Donors

JMDI,European Union

Partner country(ies)

Netherlands

Main thematic areas

Health / Migration linkages
Migrant rights

Focus area

Enhancing migrants' role in development through protection of their rights
Adopting a human rights-based approach to migration and development

First name

-

Last name

-

Position

-

Email

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Main objectives

The project identified evidence on the mental health issues and concerns of Filipino women migrant workers, thereby generating rights- and gender-based interventions at the Philippine governmental level to improve the general conditions of women migrant workers and prevent discrimination, abuse and violation of migrants' human rights in all phases of the migration cycle.

Country

Philippines

Main activities

A national survey was conducted among returned women migrants (especially domestic workers), to document structural and individual determinants of stress and mental health problems. Once the results were collected and a report is ready, a national consultative workshop was convened in the Philippines with all relevant governmental bodies as well as civil society organizations, to develop models of interventions (from pre-departure programmes to self-diagnosis, to strengthening care systems abroad, etc.). Finally, an intensive, pilot training course on crisis prevention and counseling for women migrant workers was given to 20 participants, chosen from frontline personnel within government and civil society service provider institutions working with women migrant workers.

Main beneficiaries

The main beneficiaries were women migrant workers and their families.

Project Pictures

There are no pictures for this project yet.

Project Documents

  • In August 2009, Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc., in partnership with the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center Metamedica / Health Care and Culture (VUMC-MHCC) in the Netherlands, began the conduct of an action research on mental health issues of women migrant workers. The study is a pioneering effort to further enrich our knowledge on the psycho-social dimensions of overseas domestic work. Through the use of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, the study team looked into the stressors affecting women migrant domestic workers, the manifestations of stress and its impacts on their personal, interpersonal, family and economic life. The recommendations generated by this study are envisaged to strengthen current policies, programs and services to promote the psychosocial well-being of our migrant domestic workers and their families.

  • A Research on Individual and Structural Determinants of Stress and Mental Health Problems of Filipino Women Migrant Domestic Workers.

    In the framework of the Joint Migration and Development Initiatives (JMDI) and supported by the European Commission-United Nations (EC-UN), the Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc., in partnership with the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center Metamedica / Health Care and Culture (VUMC-MHCC) carried out this participatory research to shed light on the mental health of women migrant domestic workers. The data produced is rich and gives good insight on the realities of their lives. This research provides us with a solid background for testing potentially successful interventions.

Comments

I want to show my gesture of high appreciation for raising this issue as this project’s last but one of the major/essential issues on migrant workers. Women are already vulnerable anywhere they work, and it will be even more concerning issue when they are the migrant workers. I really appreciate your approach of research, making the gender issue as one of the crucial angle to look at the problem, which normally no one bothers. What I like the most about the project is that it didn’t stop in just exploring the problem but went further to help to develop interventional development tools to deal with the women migrant workers.

The issue raised is important, in both ways: first they have to cross the fire-wall of many socio-cultural hurdles along with the mental pressures, tensions and confusions, and 2nd the psychological complexity through which they have to deal with in their work place.

The final structural recommendation would be fruitful in generalization of the solution as well, since the socio-cultural structural and its variables are more or less same of the Philippines, such as Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Maldives and many other countries including African countries.

I personally believe that, variables like equal working rights, equal compensations, equal promotional opportunities, provision of short term medical insurance, and guarantee/assurance of strong action against any physical or mental pressure on them based on gender vulnerability or gender discrimination are among the important variables.

Anyways, appreciations for rightly raised issue. And congratulations for identifying the correct variables to deal with, like domestic workers. Why? Because, within or from such countries most of the women seek their work in domestic working area.