Sudden Onset, Protracted Conflict & Climate Induced Situations

Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers

WHO, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International, 2011.

This guide covers psychological first aid which involves humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings suffering serious crisis events. It is written for people in a position to help others who have experienced an extremely distressing event. It gives a framework for supporting people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities. Endorsed by many international agencies, the guide reflects the emerging science and international consensus on how to support people in the immediate aftermath of extremely stressful events.  

Psychological first aid

Facilitator’s manual for orienting field workers. WHO, 2014.

This facilitator’s guide is designed to orient helpers to offer psychological first aid (PFA) to people following a serious crisis event. PFA involves humane, supportive and practical assistance for people who are distressed, in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities. This facilitator’s guide is to be used together with the following publication and slideshow: Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers. 

Assessing mental health and psychosocial needs and resources

Toolkit for humanitarian settings. WHO & UNHCR, 2012.

The toolkit for Humanitarian Settings was developed because of frequent requests from the field to advise on assessment. Although a range of assessment tools exist, what has been missing is an overall approach that clarifies when to use which tool for what purpose. This document offers an approach that should help assessors review information that is already available and only collect new data that will be of practical use.  

UNICEF Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Operational Guidelines

2018. Leslie Snider and Zeinab Hijazi. Pages 101-119

This text calls for attention regarding the importance of community in MHPSS in protracted crisis to strengthen protective factors in children and families in humanitarian settings. The need to standardize interventions for children (like child friendly spaces or formal and non-formal education programs) and the need to contextualize any interventions to the specific contexts raise interest in clarifying the participation of the communities in order to activate natural community supports and to include local and cultural practices.   In a clear and synthetic way this document describe What Does it Mean to Design and Implement Community-Based MHPSS, and How to Involve the Community in All Phases of Programming, additionally it presents examples of Community-Based MHPSS Activities Across the IASC Pyramid Layers. It can also be found the main terminology used when working with CBPS as: Multilayered Interventions, Integrated Services and Mainstreaming.    

Building back better

2013. WHO 

Emergencies, in spite of their tragic nature and adverse effects on mental health, are unparalleled opportunities to build better mental health systems for all people in need. This WHO publication shows how this was done in 10 diverse emergency-affected areas and how much mental health is crucial to the overall well-being, functioning, and resilience of individuals, societies, and countries recovering from emergencies”    

Recommendations for Conducting Ethical Mental Health and Psychosocial Research in Emergency Settings

2012. IASC

Protracted Crisis brings several challenges for humanitarian intervention, one of those is the lack of knowledde regarding MHPSS, culture and context. Developing research to bring to knowledge and to increase the impact of the intervention in people’s live is a key aspect. However, specific recommendations considering ethical aspects need to be taken in consideration in order to prevent doing harm to the population. The IASC proposes DO’s and DON’TS but also recommendation regarding the purpose and benefit of the research, study design, participants, safety and other key aspects. 

Psychosocial support to foster social cohesion between refugee and host communities in Jordan

Acosta, P. & Chica, N. (2018). Intervention, 16(2),147-153.

This article shows the outcomes of the qualitative evaluation of a programme aimed at improving psychosocial wellbeing, fostering resilience and promoting positive interactions between the members of the refugee and host  communities in Jordan. The internal conflict in Syria has displaced large numbers of the population into neighbouring countries since the uprising in 2011. The large influx of displaced people into Jordan poses great challenges to the international community as well as local authorities, with increasing competition for already scarce resources and services creating rising tensions between refugee and host communities. Through the participation of support groups within community-based organisations, dialogue was facilitated, and interactions took place in a safe and therapeutic environment. Participants reported improved perception of well-being and self-confidence, as well as improved mutual understanding and communication, reduced isolation and the extension of social support, enhanced empathy and reduce prejudice.