Psychosocial Support in Emergencies – training

Psychosocial Support in Emergencies

Copenhagen, 31 October to 4 November 2016

In times of emergency the psychosocial delegate or focal person is responsible for planning and supporting basic psychosocial activities whether as part of the work of the emergency response unit or an regional disaster response team or as psychosocial responsible in the operating National Society.
Based on problem-based learning methodology using practical exercises and role playing this training allows participants to work through case studies preparing them for psychosocial work during emergencies while at the same time being mentored and supervised by the facilitators.
Subjects covered in the training are:

  • Preparing for a mission
  • Assessments of psychosocial, protection and inclusion needs
  • Data collection
  • Development of a plan of action
  • Violence prevention and protection
  • Child protection
  • Establishment and running of Child Friendly Space
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Development of a training plan for volunteers
  • Coordination and cooperation
  • Stress management for staff and volunteers
  • Volunteer management

This training does not include knowledge on the system and structures of the ERU, RDRT/RRU or National Society disaster response team. If you are working within these areas it is recommended that you seek relevant additional training from your deploying National Society.

Training objective

  • To enhance the psychosocial competencies of psychosocial support responders to work in humanitarian operations using a problem based learning approach.
  • To provide participants with psychosocial technical skills, understanding and knowledge to enable them to rapidly assess, plan, coordinate and implement priority psychosocial and protection interventions during disasters and crisis events
  • To equip participants with basic knowledge and skills in setting up and running Child Friendly Spaces
  • To familiarize participants with the M & E tools for emergencies
  • To obtain knowledge on how to identify, train and support volunteers as well as stress management of volunteers.

Dates, deadlines and other important information:

The training takes place in Copenhagen on 31 October to 4 November 2016 from 9 to 17 all days.
Participants must be able to participate in the entire training, arriving the night before and departing from the training venue no earlier than 5 pm on the last day of training (earliest possible flight from Copenhagen is at 8 pm).
If you have questions, please write to

Deadline for application: 15 August 2016

Please note that we only accept applications submitted through the online system: Click here to go to the online registration form

Please identify the specific visa requirements for your country here:
The PS Centre is only able to provide limited support for visa application (letter of invitation etc.), and can only do so for applicants who meet the 15 August application deadline.

Target group and required qualifications

Red Cross Red Crescent staff with previous training and experience in providing community-based psychosocial support, knowledge of the Red Cross Red Crescent and working conditions in the field.
Knowledge of psychosocial consequences of emergencies, stress and coping, good facilitation skills and knowledge of adult education methodologies. Prepared to participate actively in all sections and tasks related to the training.

Educational background in social work, psychology, psychiatry, mental or public health or similar field.

Good social skills, a strong interest in psychosocial support and a willingness to participate actively during the training is required.

The training will be conducted in English so all participants must have sufficient English skills to participate actively in the trainng.

Please note that priority is given to Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers. Participants from other organisations will only be considered as exceptions.


Participants must cover their own expenses for travel, accomodation and per diem. Lunch and snacks will be provided during the training, and the training fee is free of charge.


The required pre-reading must be completed before the start of the training, so each participant must dedicate up to a full day of preparation before the training.

Health Emergency Response Unit – Psychosocial Component Delegate Manual
IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings: Checklist
IFRC Minimum standard commitments to gender and diversity in emergency programming.
Five Essential Elements of Immediate and Mid-Term Mass Trauma Intervention: Empirical Evidence


In addition to the required pre-reading, participants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with:

Caring for Volunteers – A Psychosocial Support Toolkit
Community-based psychosocial support – training kit
Restoring Family Links and Psychosocial Support – e-learning
Canadian Red Cross: Predictable Preventable
Do No Harm: Toward Contextually Appropriate Psychosocial Support in International Emergencies. Michael G. Wessells
Psychosocial interventions – a Handbook
Inter-Agency Guide to the Evaluation of Psychosocial Programming in Humanitarian Crises. (UNICEF 2011)
IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in emergency settings (WHO, 2007)