Promoting services for returnees

Promoting services for returnees


In recognition of World Mental Health Day 2021 and its theme of “Mental Health in an Unequal World,”  the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held a commemorative event in the municipality of Ilopango to highlight the relevance of care and services for populations in vulnerable situations, and  to promote the importance of mental health for the well-being of people in general.  The event was an activity under the IOM-USAID Integrated Responses on Migration from Central America Project that helps to reduce irregular migration from Central America by providing services to returned migrants and potential migrants and promoting safe, orderly, and regular migration processes.

The activity was presided over by the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Jean Manes; the Chief of Mission of the IOM for El Salvador, Nicola Graviano, and the Mayor of Ilopango, José Chicas.

“We recognize that there are groups in situations of greater vulnerability that have been more affected not only by the impact of the pandemic, but by other events and life experiences, such as returning after attempting to migrate on a dangerous journey to the United States.  For this reason, we have deployed various mobile services to support returnees,” said the Chargé d’Affaires.

During the event, a fair of social programs and employability services was held and a play was presented to emphasize the importance of well-being and mental health and strengthening the resilience of returned migrants and the community as a support network that facilitates the reintegration process.

“We have developed this initiative mainly to raise awareness about the importance of mental health for everyone, regardless of age, culture, socioeconomic level, educational level or gender, as well as to promote the participation and involvement of local actors in the promotion of services for the returnee population of the municipality of Ilopango,” added Graviano.

According to IOM data, Ilopango ranks 15th among the municipalities with the highest rate of returns from January to July 2021, which is why the development of actions that provide services and that  promote support networks is of great relevance.

World Mental Health Day, celebrated every October 10, is promoted by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization.  The observance represents a global commitment to raise awareness of mental health issues worldwide and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.