The Outreach Walk: Improving protection and psychosocial support through outreach describes how psychosocial providers (PS providers) understand, assess and offer support in a disaster situation to promote psychosocial well-being, assist in creating safe environments and enhance protection.
An outreach walk is both an approach and a psychosocial activity. As an activity, it aims to improve the support and protection by reaching out to highly distressed and vulnerable people. During an outreach walk, the PS providers access an area, identify signs of distress and needs for protection, refer to services and carry out psychosocial triage. The triage aims to identify people with the most critical support and protection needs, in order to effectively respond to these needs.
The outreach walk aims to increase awareness of the needs for psychosocial support and protection through outreach to vulnerable and highly distressed persons. It provides guidance on how to identify needs, conduct a psychosocial triage, offer support and provide basic protection. The outreach walk can be adapted to acute as well as protracted crisis situations and is suited to many emergency settings for initial assessment, response as well as for regular monitoring. The stepwise approach of the outreach walk is described, followed by an exercise instruction for training staff and volunteers in how to respond to a crisis.