For the first time the course will also feature a Psychosocial Rehabilitation practicum workshop.
Programme coordinator Mereana Taikoko said the course would involve outer island volunteers and overseas mental health workers.
The main trainers are Professor Dr Parameshvara Deva and Professor Dr Jenny Deva MD, Masters in Counseling from Malaysia. They are on their seventh visit to the Cook Islands to assist with Te Kainga’s work and for World Health Organisation assignments.
Dr Deva is the founder and past chairperson of the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Association (AFPA), one of the main sponsors of the training course.
The course looks at the overview of mental health status in the Cook Islands, Tonga and Marshall Islands and the causes, classification and detection of mental health illnesses.
During the week, participants will examine mental health issues involving adolescents and women, alcohol, substance abuse and addictions, and suicide, para-suicide and risk-taking behaviours.
Over the next few days of the course participants will be on attachment training at the Te Kainga Centre where they will learn to understand basic skills involving psychological rehabilitation, social and occupational rehabilitation and relapse prevention.
Cook Islands Men’s Health, the Cook Islands Family Welfare Association (CIFWA) Internal Affairs, Cook Islands Youth Council, Vaiakua Holiday Homes, Tourism Cook Islands, and Raro Cars are sponsoring the event.
The first part of the course will be held until January 27 at the Avarua Catholic church hall. It will then continue from January 30 to February 1 at the Te Kainga Wellbeing Centre in Panama.