A coordinated and comprehensive approach to provide psychosocial support and counseling for conflict-affected persons in the North and East will soon be in operation.
At a meeting held yesterday (April 9) with stakeholder ministries, Secretary to the President and Chairman of the Committee Monitoring LLRC Recommendations Mr. Lalith Weeratunga emphasized the importance of adopting a holistic and coordinated approach, linking all programs currently carried out by government ministries, for creating greater efficiency in the provision of counseling and psychosocial support.
The National Plan of Action (NPoA) monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) lists several recommendations and activities to address social, economic and mental health needs of vulnerable groups in the former theater of conflict. These include women-headed households, children and the elderly affected by the war, and disabled persons. A number of Ministries, including the Ministry of Social Services, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs are implementing counseling programs, livelihood development programs and housing programs for these target groups.
Discussions at the meeting centered on the current psychosocial support and counseling programs carried out by various ministries, capacity building for counseling and the evolving of a mechanism to improve support delivery covering all target groups.
The meeting was attended by Vice-Chairperson of the Committee Monitoring LLRC Recommendations and Secretary of the Ministry of Technology and Research Mrs. Dhara Wijayatilake, Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka, Secretary of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Mr. Eric Illayapparachchi, Secretary of the Ministry of Social Services Mrs. Emelda Sukumar and representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development and Ministry of Law and Order.