The Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (PS Centre) works under the framework of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), and supports National Societies in promoting and enabling the psychosocial well-being of beneficiaries, staff and volunteers.
The overall objective of the IFRC Psychosocial Support Programme is to assist the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement to
- create awareness regarding psychosocial reactions at a time of disaster or long-term social disruption,
- to set up and improve preparedness and response mechanisms at global, regional and local levels,
- to facilitate psychosocial support before, during and after disasters,
- to restore community networks and coping mechanisms,
- to promote the resilience and thereby the rehabilitation of individuals and communities, and
- to enhance emotional assistance to staff and volunteers.
This overall mandate is achieved within the context of the current Strategy 2020 and policy framework of the IFRC. As part of the IFRC, the PS Centre is guided by the seven fundamental principles and relevant policies, and works towards the achievement of Strategy 2020 and the three strategic aims outlined within it. Accordingly, the PS Centre will work to:
- save lives, protect livelihoods and strengthen recovery from disasters and crisis
- enable healthy and safe living
- promote social inclusion, and a culture of non-violence and peace.
The aim is to enable National Societies to understand, respond and utilize evidence based practice in meeting the psychosocial needs of vulnerable groups. Technical support, including assessment, training, support, monitoring and evaluations is key to integrating psychosocial care in (a) disaster preparedness and response (b) complex emergencies and refugee situations, (c) areas of community health, social welfare and youth. The strategic framework for the activities of the IFRC psychosocial programme for the coming five years (2016-20) is based on the May 2003 Federation Psychological Support Policy. This policy underlines the need for mainstreaming psychosocial support in the core programmes of the Federation and its National Societies and establishes the basis of Red Cross and Red Crescent interventions both in emergency response operations and in the implementation of long-term development programs.