Community-Based Psychosocial Support

An approach for increasing the quality and relevance of humanitarian and development responses.

The Community-Based Psychosocial Support (CBPS) approach builds on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Guidelines in Emergencies and is directly linked to the nine commitments in the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) on quality and accountability to assure principled, accountable, and high-quality humanitarian assistance. It can be mainstreamed into both humanitarian and development projects.

The CBPS approach essentially focuses on enabling and strengthening collective structures and systems (for instance families or communities), which are essential for people and communities to not only overcome crises, but also to restore hope and a sense of efficacy at both individual and community levels. Thus, it goes beyond only meeting physical and biological needs.  The CBPS approach is based on the assumption that there is a connection between active participation and wellbeing, and the focus is therefore on meaningfully involving community members in all stages of the response. Rather than being passive recipients of services designed for them, crisis-affected populations become active participants who recognise their own abilities, capacities and resources, and their role in improving individual and collective wellbeing.

This website was created and is managed by the CBPS team at Act Church of Sweden (Act CoS), which has built capacity in CBPS for more than two decades. Act CoS focus has been on developing the capacity within the ACT Alliance to mainstream CBPS into different sectors, such as education, WASH and protection, by strengthening institutional capacity of its member organisations. Act CoS also works together with the ACT Alliance and its members at a global level to mainstream CBPS in humanitarian and development projects through global and regional Psychosocial Communities of Practice (PS CoP). Furthermore, Act CoS represents the ACT Alliance in the IASC MHPSS Reference Group.

On this website you can learn about the CBPS approach, find out about related work Act CoS and the ACT Alliance are doing, get in contact with related persons, and much more.

The videoclip Why CBPS? provides a very brief introduction to Community-Based Psychosocial Support. You can learn more about this under CBPS Essentials. Find out about all aspects of CBPS by browsing through the pages below.