During eoutbreaks of Ebola, psychosocial support is vital to ensure the well-being of the affected population, and also to counter-act the threats to public health and safety that fear, stigmatization and misconception poses.
Humanitarian agencies have become increasingly aware of the importance of religion in the lives of those they seek to assist and of the potential value of more effective engagement with local faith actors in humanitarian settings. Equally, however, there is concern about how to address these issues in a way that does not threaten humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality, nor risk heightening any existing religious tensions.
In many ways, 2017 was a special year seen through the lenses of mental health and psychosocial support in the IFRC. International attention has never been so strongly focused on psychosocial support at field level, in research and at policy level.
It feels a bit unreal and as being in a parallel world when entering into the prison. We walk through five security checkpoints before we arrive in the training room. It’s a large, bright yellow and quite cold room with plastic chairs and a flip chart. We must leave all our electronics – phones, laptops, tablets –on the outside. So, no PowerPoint or other types of aid. Back to basics.
“Mental health and psychosocial support is not an appendix. It is at the core of what we do when we do health. We want to harmonise our approach but also bring it to the States, because the Movement won’t be able to do this alone” Yves Daccord, Director-General, ICRC
Words matter when we talk about psychosocial support.
It makes a difference when a person is portrayed as a passive victim suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, when really she or he is a survivor experiencing common emotional reactions to a highly stressful and dangerous situation.
By some miracle, the conservatory wasn’t badly damaged. The first thing we did was to clean it up. We put in a space heater, some nice furniture and cosy lightning. Then, amidst all the chaos, filth and uncertainty, we had a sanctuary. It was a place to be and for the neighbours to come together.
Sign the pledge! Armed conflicts and violence give rise to great mental health and psychosocial challenges among millions of men, women, boys and girls around the world. While needs are currently increasing, mental health and psychosocial well-being is still not high enough on the list of priorities in the field of humanitarian intervention. Therefore IFRC… Read more »
Azad and Nashmia fled northern Iraq the day that 10 of their family members were kidnapped. Their only thought was to get to somewhere safe, somewhere that could protect them from the violence and uncertainty they faced every day in their village.
“There is a myth that it is very difficult to measure the impact of PSS interventions and to find good indicators. We put this myth to rest in Beirut, Lebanon in the middle of April 2016” Alex Ssimbwa, psychosocial support delegate in Liberia for Danish Red Cross. Ssimbwa and 11 Danish Red Cross psychosocial support… Read more »