Operational support concerns more direct involvement in the design, set up, monitoring, and evaluation of PSS. As the name suggests, this type of support is related to ‘operations’ and (emergency or development) programmes implemented in the field. Assistance in organising a PSS Emergency Response Unit (ERU) deployment, or field Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of long-term projects are good examples of operational support activities.
Both forms of support are relevant in emergency settings where the work of the Centre also includes providing assistance to the IFRC ERUs, i.e. recommending suitable participants for emergency assessment missions (FACT), and facilitating the deployment of the ERU PSS component when this is relevant.
Emergencies are often the catalyst for National Societies to start engaging in mental health and psychosocial support activities. After the response phase, activities are adjusted and developed further to carry them over to future disasters and in recovery and development programmes. Providing technical and operational support to National Societies in emergencies thus often has a scope that reaches far beyond the immediate crisis.
The IFRC PS Centre focus on training of trainers, creating spaces for reflective practices after trainings/workshops, and supporting National Societies to develop relevant supervision systems for volunteers. The IFRC PS Centre provides on-demand mentoring and technical support to National Societies and IFRC offices. A supportive supervision approach is tailored to the volunteers and staff of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies.