APHN and Chunmiao Foundation’s Innovative Psychosocial Training Program in China

In response to the critical demand for psychosocial support and the shortage of trained professionals in palliative care in China, APHN, in collaboration with Chunmiao Foundation, initiated an 8-month online psychosocial program on October 12, 2023.

This comprehensive training comprises four modules, each featuring six 2-hour teaching sessions and one 3-hour supervision. The primary objective is to empower selected professionals from diverse regions of China with the essential skills to address the intricate psychosocial challenges encountered by patients with advanced illnesses.

A meticulous selection process, including interviews by Chunmiao Foundation, ensures representation not only from various parts of China but also emphasizes diversity and inclusivity. Ultimately, 16 dedicated helping professionals have committed to participating in the training.

Under the leadership of Secretary General Yang Jie, Chunmiao Foundation collaborates with Beijing Haidian Hospital to establish full-time social work positions outside the hospital. These medical social workers are then deployed to the palliative care ward in Haidian hospital. The Foundation’s commitment to continuous training for these social workers is evident in initiatives such as the psychosocial training program in APHN.

The training program serves as an initial step in addressing the growing need for social workers in Palliative Care, a concern identified during the 2021 China Foundation program. Ongoing plans for targeted advanced training aim to elevate the professional standards of social workers in palliative care in the long term.

Dr. Gilbert Fan, holding a professional doctorate in Social Work & Futures Studies, led the development of this 8-month program. He is supported by seven faculty members from Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, all bringing extensive experience in training and medical social work practice.

To prepare faculty for the unique challenges in China’s medical social work landscape, APHN organized a cultural session for insights from Professor Chen Ming Ming and Dr Sun, a first-generation medical social worker in Shanghai. The session was enriching and well-received.

Before the training commenced, APHN and Chunmiao Foundation organized a welcoming session for faculty and participants. Mr. Guan Dongsheng, Director General of the Medical and Social Work Special Committee of the China Social Work Federation, inaugurated the session. Additionally, Professor Amy Chow from Hong Kong provided valuable insights into the psychosocial aspects of end-of-life care. The session concluded with many touching stories and aspirations shared by the participants.

APHN envisions this training program as a pivotal stepping stone, aiming to expand and equip a larger pool of highly skilled medical social workers dedicated to palliative care in China. The collaboration between APHN and Chunmiao Foundation is poised to make a lasting impact on the quality of ward services and the overall landscape of psychosocial support in the region.

Written by Ms Jessica Goh (APHN Executive )

Published on: 13 December, 2023 | Last modified: 26 December, 2023