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In Search of Community Grandmothers!

By Dr. Gifty-Maria Ntim & Charlotte Ntim
Fri, Nov 29. 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Ave Maria Hotel, Accra
past 6 months
In Search of Community Grandmothers!

The pressures of daily life and fast-pace of the times have led to a new appreciation for counseling services that address the more emotional aspects of health. This includes instances of anxiety and depression, which have risen substantially among younger people, in particular. This focus group explores the use of Problem Solving Therapy or PST - a model of counseling that taps into the knowledge of older generations, while providing training to guide them in their interactions with younger people dealing with emotional health issues. It will be held at the Ave Maria Hotel (opposite Gulf House) on Friday, November 29th 2019 at 3pm. 
Problem Solving Therapy
The program we are developing draws inspiration from Zimbabwe’s “Friendship Bench”, which trains older women in the community to provide counseling to people struggling to cope with stressful experiences, through a method known as Problem Solving Therapy (PST). The use of PST in medicine is not a new concept and delivery of PST by non-medically trained individuals has been studied extensively. Following PST training, “community grandmothers” as they are affectionately called, help people to develop coping skills for underlying issues they may be struggling with. Community grandmothers are pillars in the community: they have the time, they are respected and most importantly - who wouldn’t want to talk to grandma about a problem? We want to take the Zimbabwean friendship bench concept and tailor it for Ghana, but we need to better understand if such a model is suitable. 
The Focus Group Event
This session targets retired women aged 60 years and older. Previous experience is not needed and neither is being a grandmother. Specifically, we would like to better understand the willingness to participate in such a program, cultural attitudes and other key things to keep in mind as we work to expand access to counseling services and support.

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