What is CBPS?
The Community-Based Psychosocial Support (CBPS) approach builds on the own needs, resources and conditions of individuals and communities to handle daily life stressors, especially in crises situations. The approach emphasizes participation of affected people in aid interventions as a central aspect for these to be able to themselves contribute to a better life and rise stronger together. They accomplish this based on their own capacity and capability. In crises situations, needs are more comprehensive than shelter, food and water. The CBPS approach focuses on involving affected populations in decisions and activities that concern their lives, as they themselves know best what needs exist and need to be addressed. Participation also contributes to a meaningful co-existence after people have lost everything. Accordingly, the CBPS approach aims at creating meaningful and lasting changes in local contexts affected by crises.
CBPS is closely linked to Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). Accordingly, the illustration of the Intervention Pyramid from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) MHPSS Guidelines that you can see to the right, shows the many things CBPS can be. At the bottom level, CBPS ensures sensitive delivery of physical aid by ensuring that aid respects culture, faith, gender, etc. At community level (level 2) CBPS focuses on strengthening families and the community to be able to care for their people and adjust to the new circumstances. At the focused support level (level 3), we find ways to support groups that might need extra care and attention, such as unaccompanied children or survivors of gender-based violence. Some people will need the specialised care from psychologists or therapists, and we always help them get connected. The top level refers to specialised services, as undertaken by for example psychologists. Since this is a more individualised approach, it is not traditionally included in the CBPS approach. However, within the CBPS approach, an important component is to support referral pathways to specialised services for those in need.