It is commonly acknowledged that recovery from psychological and social consequences of a crisis takes far longer to overcome than physical or material damage. Early and adequate psychosocial support for people in need as well as for the staff and volunteers who provide mental health and psychosocial support can prevent distress and suffering from developing into severe mental health conditions. The main purpose of psychosocial support is therefore to build resilience and help people to cope with and recover from a disaster or critical event.
To address these issues, a Centre of Excellence – the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (the PS Centre) – was established in 1993 to raise awareness about the importance of prioritizing mental health and to provide psychosocial well-being for beneficiaries, staff and volunteers.
To implement the mission and strategy, the PS Centre: