Empowering Trainers to Address Mental Health: GESSI Development and Humanitarian Initiative's Training of Trainers Event


On Monday, February 6, 2024, the GESSI Development and Humanitarian Initiative organized a pivotal training session for its staff and volunteers. The aim was to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively train others, particularly refugees and the general public, on a crucial topic: depression. Led by Mr. Assoua Esumuh Herget, the organization's Psychosocial Officer, the session delved into various aspects of depression, including its definition, types, affected demographics, symptoms, causes, and management.

Understanding Depression:

Depression is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. During the training session, Mr. Herget elucidated on the intricacies of depression, providing participants with a clear understanding of what it entails. He highlighted how depression is not merely feeling sad or low but encompasses a range of emotional, cognitive, and physical symptoms that significantly impact an individual's daily life.

Types of Depressive Disorders:

Furthermore, the session explored the different types of depressive disorders, shedding light on variations in symptoms and severity. From major depressive disorder to persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), participants gained insights into the diverse manifestations of depression and the importance of recognizing these variations for effective intervention and support.

Demographics Affected by Depression:

Depression does not discriminate; it can affect individuals of all ages, genders, backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses. Mr. Herget discussed the demographic factors that may predispose individuals to depression, emphasizing the need for tailored approaches to address the unique challenges faced by different groups within the population.

Identifying Symptoms and Causes:

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression is crucial for early detection and intervention. Through interactive discussions and case studies, participants learned to identify common indicators of depression, such as persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Additionally, the session explored potential causes of depression, including genetic predispositions, biological factors, life events, and societal influences.

Management and Treatment:

The training session also delved into various strategies for managing and treating depression. From psychotherapy and medication to lifestyle modifications and support networks, participants gained insights into the holistic approach required for addressing depression effectively. Mr. Herget emphasized the importance of seeking professional help, destigmatizing mental health issues, and promoting self-care practices to enhance resilience and well-being.

Empowering Trainers to Make a Difference:

By equipping its staff and volunteers with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of depression, the GESSI Development and Humanitarian Initiative is taking proactive steps to address mental health challenges within refugee communities and beyond. The training of trainers event not only empowers participants to educate others but also fosters empathy, compassion, and awareness of mental health issues.


As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, it is imperative to prioritize mental health and well-being. The GESSI Development and Humanitarian Initiative's commitment to addressing depression through education, training, and advocacy exemplifies the power of collective action in creating positive change. By raising awareness, reducing stigma, and providing support, we can build a more inclusive and compassionate society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.