Mind the mind now: International Conference on Mental Health & Psychosocial Support in Crisis Situation 2019 Background Document and Recommendations

This booklet contains documentation in support of the in-depth breakout sessions at the International Conference on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in Crisis Situations, 7-8 October 2019 in Amsterdam. For each breakout topic, invited experts have prepared a background paper with recommendations to inform conference participants.

 

Mini-feature Towards understanding and addressing the root causes of displacement

This mini-feature has been prepared to inform discussions at the first Global Refugee Forum in December 2019. The seven articles have been published as part of Forced Migration Review issue 62 on ‘Return’.

Psychological first aid for children during the Kumamoto earthquake disaster response in Japan

The following field report is based on lessons learned from the adaptation and utilisation of the Psychological First Aid for Child Practitioners (Save the Children, 2013) materials in Japan. Psychological first aid (PFA) is a set of skills and competencies that help reduce the initial distress of children and caregivers due to accidents, natural disasters, conflicts or other critical incidents. The manual was developed by Save the Children based on Psychological First Aid: A Guide for Field Workers (World Health Organization, War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International, 2011).

The impact of psychosocial support on well-being and agency within an inclusive livelihood programme

After 7 years of a multifaceted conflict, effective humanitarian assistance for people living in Syria is vital. This action research exploresthe extentto which psychosocial support (PSS) impacts the well-being and agency of Syrian farmers benefitting from livelihood. Our methodology used a baseline and endline surveytowards a target population of households receiving agricultural inputs, with both an experimental and control group. Five dimensions of well-being were considered: emotional, social, economic, skills and knowledge and overall feeling. The key findings are:

The case for—and challenges of—faith-sensitive psychosocial programming

Drawing upon evidence compiled in a recent literature review, we identify five arguments for seeking faith-sensitivity in psychosocial programming: it is indicated by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS); it is implied by humanitarian law and principles; religion is an active and effective source of coping in many contexts; local faith actors have a ‘comparative advantage’ in humanitarian settings; and engaging with religion is coherent with emerging policy and practice.

Project MIRACLE: Increasing empathy among psychosocial support staff working with refugees through brief training in motivational interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is presented as a mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) approach for increasing empathy among psychosocial support staff working with refugees in resettlement. In a pilot study, 34 case managers in US refugee resettlement non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were trained in MI in a 3-h webinar format using a randomized controlled trial with a wait-list condition. Outcome was measured using the Helpful Responses to Refugees Questionnaire, which assesses empathetic responses to common refugee scenarios.

Humanitarian well-being: Addressing the intimate partner to promote humanitarian well-being, a literature review

Humanitarians are critical players in alleviating suffering worldwide. As a result of their willingness to put themselves in challenging, often dangerous environments, humanitarians are at high risk for negative mental health outcomes. Addressing humanitarian mental health effectively must consider the wellbeing of the intimate partner.

How to improve organisational staff support? Suggestions from humanitarian workers in South Sudan

Humanitarian workers experience high symptom burdens of common mental health problems. This requires action from the organisations they are employed with. However, many studies have documented continuing weaknesses in organisational staff support, as well as disparities in access to the services for national and international staff. Systematic data capturing suggestions from humanitarian workers on how to tackle this situation within a specific crisis setting is rarely available.

How to improve organisational staff support? Suggestions from humanitarian workers in South Sudan

Humanitarian workers experience high symptom burdens of common mental health problems. This requires action from the organisations they are employed with. However, many studies have documented continuing weaknesses in organisational staff support, as well as disparities in access to the services for national and international staff. Systematic data capturing suggestions from humanitarian workers on how to tackle this situation within a specific crisis setting is rarely available.

Manual on community-based mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies and displacement

This Manual aims to facilitate mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) experts and managers in designing, implementing and evaluating community-based MHPSS (CB MHPSS) programmes, projects and activities for emergency-affected and displaced populations in humanitarian settings. It is specifically designed to support managers and experts hired by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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