PS Centre Trainings

Many of the trainings offered by the PS Centre come in two versions: a basic training and a training of trainers, which is an add-on to the basic training.

In the basic training, the participants learn the curriculum, so they are able to perform the activities and interventions of the particular training. The training of trainers module focuses on teaching the participants how to conduct the basic training themselves, creating a trickle-down effect for spreading the knowledge.

You can read below about the different trainings that the PS Centre can provide, along with their respective curriculum. Click on a specific training to scroll to its description.

Broken links

Circumstances surrounding conflict, crisis or disaster can cause families to become separated from their loved ones. Experience has shown that beneficiaries who approach the Red Cross Red Crescent looking for family members are often in need of psychosocial support. This training is designed to support staff and volunteers in a wide range of settings where they may be in contact with families who have been separated from their loved ones. During the training participants will be introduced to the causes and consequences of being separated from family members and how separation may impact psychosocial well-being. Additionally, the training provides participants with an understanding of how to support people who have been separated and at the same time take care of themselves

Caring for volunteers

Basic training

As psychosocial support has become an integrated activity in many National Societies, we have experienced an increasing number of requests for guidelines and tools on how to help our own volunteers and staff. In other words, how we should put on our own oxygen mask first before helping others, as they say on the airplane. This training provides a thorough introduction to the “Caring for Volunteers, a Psychosocial Support Toolkit,” which will help National Societies not only prepare volunteers but also support them during and after disasters, conflicts and other dramatic events. During this training the participants will get an understanding of psychosocial support and what the risks, resilience and protective factors for volunteers’ psychosocial well-being are. Further, participants will familiarize themselves with practical tools for self-care, peer support and Psychological First Aid, In addition, they will gain an understanding of how to set up psychosocial support systems for volunteers as well as monitor and evaluate volunteers’ efforts.

Training of trainers

The training of trainers prepares participants to facilitate “Caring for Volunteers” workshops built on the “Caring for Volunteers, a Psychosocial Support Toolkit”. Simultaneously it gives participants deeper insight into the content of the “Caring for Volunteers, a Psychosocial Support Toolkit” as the participants will have to facilitate parts from tool kit: understanding of psychosocial support; risks, resilience and protective factors for volunteers’ psychosocial well-being; self-care; peer support; Psychological First Aid; setting up psychosocial support systems for volunteers; monitoring and evaluating volunteers’ efforts. Additionally, the training includes a short module on didactic and pedagogical teaching methods (organising a training workshop; creating a safe and inclusive learning environment; what makes a good facilitator; different learning styles; facilitation techniques)

Resilience programme for young men

Whenever there is a breakdown or dramatic change in a community or country, young men are subject to increased vulnerabilities. Disaster or conflict, for example, or direct participation in or exposure to violence, poverty, unemployment or migration may be challenging for the young men caught up in such events. They may lead to negative behaviour and perceptions, depression and even addiction or trauma, making positive life choices more difficult, at a critical time of transition between childhood and adulthood. This training enhances the participants understanding of providing psychosocial support through a peer-to-peer approach and provides guidance on planning and implementing psychosocial activities for young men. Participants will be introduced to the following themes; psychosocial support; coping and assisting; youth as active members of the community

Sexual and genderbased violence

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is one of the greatest humanitarian challenges today. It takes various forms and occurs in diverse situations and contexts across the world. In conflict-affected states, for example, rape is often used as a strategy of warfare to undermine the enemy and to demoralize and destabilize communities. Acts of SGBV during and in the aftermath of armed conflict and disaster are widespread and have serious impacts on individuals, their families and society as a whole. During these emergencies, the collapse of protection systems, negative reactions to stress and shifting gender and social norms all contribute to increases in SGBV.

SGBV is not only a problem linked to disasters and conflict. Intimate partner violence is one of the most common types of SGBV, with assaults, threats, neglect and rape occurring within homes and other places where people should be safe. Trafficking, early marriages and forced prostitution are also forms of SGBV. Just like other types of SGBV, they are associated with disaster and emergencies but are not directly linked and may occur at any time or in any place.

SGBV leaves deep wounds on survivors, families and communities, as well as on secondary survivors. (Secondary survivors are those who are impacted by the experience of SGBV inflicted upon another person. This may include family members or others close to the survivor). It is a widespread problem with serious emotional and social consequences, delaying recovery and leading to long-term distress, health complications, disability or even death.

In the course of their work, Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are often confronted with SGBV. Helpers may even be the first ones to hear a survivor’s story. However staff and volunteers often feel anxious about the appropriate way to handle these disclosures.

To support Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers in their encounters with survivors of SGBV, the PS Centre, in collaboration with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Jordan National Red Crescent Society and Lebanese Red Cross has developed a two day training. This training is a basic introduction to understanding sexual and gender-based violence in a psychosocial context. It is our hope that this training will provide staff and volunteers with the skills and confidence to better respond to the needs of people affected by SGBV.

The training guide is available online in English. As always, we greatly appreciate any feedback you may have about our materials.

Community-based psychosocial support

This training is built on the Community-based psychosocial training kit and gives participants insight into aspects of the psychosocial (PS) impact of disasters, while orienting them with psychosocial support (PSS) activities and facilitating PS workshops.

Through a participatory approach, this training will familiarise participants with the Community-based psychosocial training kit and the following subjects: crisis events and PSS, stress and coping, loss and grief, community-based PSS, psychological first aid and supportive communication, children, supporting staff, volunteers. It further introduces didactic and pedagogical teaching methods, enabling participants to conduct training of trainers. This training can be conducted together with one of the specialized trainings.

The training can be supplemented with additional training in specific subjects or adapted to suit a specific local context.

The training is available in two forms : as a basic training and as training of trainers training.

Children’s Resilience Programme

This training introduces the participants to the Children’s Resilience Programme, which recognizes that children’s wellbeing is influenced by their interaction with their parents and caregivers, their peers and others in their community environment. Children face various challenges in the world today. How they cope in very difficult circumstances depend on a wide range of factors. The training looks at psychosocial support and child protection and describes how activities in the Children’s Resilience Programme can be implemented in different settings. The training gives participants an understanding of how to set-up as well as manage the Children’s Resilience Programme and how to use the materials.

Lay counselling in Humanitarian Organisations

Social and humanitarian organizations provide support to people affected by crisis events across the globe. They respond to human suffering in many different ways, assisting people affected by disasters or other critical events, people suffering from loss or serious illness, and people who are stigmatized or otherwise living in isolation. Lay counselling can and should never replace professional counselling, but given the fact that thousands of staff and volunteers in many organizations provide counselling – and sometimes in areas and situations where no professional counselling is available – it is important that lay counsellors are well prepared, well trained and effective. This training aims to give participants an understanding of what lay counselling is and the skills required. It sets out the role and responsibilities of lay counsellors and the organization within which they work. By the end of the training, participants will have developed a range of listening and responding skills and have insight into their own values and prejudices.

Life Skills

This training provides knowledge on methods for setting up psychosocial life skills programmes or including life skills components in psychosocial programmes.

Life skills are psychosocial competencies and abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable us to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Life skills are vital to psychosocial recovery after a crisis event and are closely linked to the concepts of behavioural change, psychosocial well-being and resilience. Strengthening psychosocial life skills can help people regain abilities and build new competencies, even in very challenging circumstances. This promotes resilience, making it easier to adapt to changed living conditions.

Psychosocial support in emergencies (PSSiE) trainings

The PSSie trainings can be used both as trainings for Emergency Response Unit psychosocial support delegates and other delegates working with emergencies outside the ERU system – for example National Society psychosocial support staff and volunteers, and others who involved in emergency response. The psychosocial support component of the emergency support unit covers all the psychosocial support activities, including the kits and materials, training of volunteers, community outreach and awareness-raising undertaken by the psychosocial support delegate. The ERU training curriculum comprises of trainings for delegates, refresher trainings and trainings for volunteers.

Psychosocial support in emergencies (ERU) training

In times of emergency the psychosocial (PS) delegate is responsible for planning and supporting basic PS activities as part of the work of the ERU, together with the Operating National Society and/or local health authorities. Based on practical exercises and role playing mixed with presentations, this training prepares the PSS ERU delegate for work in the field by providing knowledge on how to identify, train and supervise volunteers.

Additionally, the training introduces the delegate to fieldwork by focusing on how to:

  • assess existing mental health and PS resources
  • interact with the Operating National Society
  • launch PS activities within or outside the ERU
  • liaise with local health authorities, WHO, UNICEF and others regarding PS interventions
  • monitor and report PS aspects of ERU work
  • sensitize ERU delegates to psychological and social dimensions of the disaster.

Further, by the end of this training, participants will be able to work according to the standard operational procedures and meet criteria as stated in the IASC Guidelines when setting up the PS component in the vicinity of the ERU.

Psychosocial support in emergencies (ERU) – Refresher

Through practical exercises, prior knowledge of the “Psychosocial Support in Emergencies” training will be refreshed. Participants will also be introduced to the latest news and lessons learned from the PS ERU component.

Psychosocial interventions

Since the beginning of the decade, the need for community-based psychosocial support (PSS) in crisis response and development work has become increasingly clear. PSS programmes empower individuals and their communities in tackling emotional reactions to critical events. When planned and implemented correctly, PS programmes can help prevent an emergency from turning into a disaster.

Through a participatory approach, this training provides the knowledge and tools necessary for participants to plan and implement culturally appropriate, psychosocial interventions. The practices outlined during the training are derived from a large study of lessons learned and best practices after the Indian Ocean tsunami, and includes topics such as assessments, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating.

Psychosocial support for youth in post-conflict situations trainings

Basic training

The Psychosocial support for youth in post-conflict situations – basic training aims to provide a basic introduction to psychosocial support and facilitation techniques. The basic training will enable participants to:

  • become familiar with psychological and social reactions, needs and interventions, respecting relevant and appropriate cultural frameworks
  • plan and implement a variety of interventions sensitive to local circumstances, and undertake psychosocial activities for vulnerable youth.
  • Target group: Participants may come from a variety of backgrounds, not necessarily a health, mental health or social welfare background. The person conducting basic training should have completed the Psychosocial support for youth in post-conflict situations – Training of trainers. The preferred maximum number of participants per training is 18.

  • Duration: The length of this training can vary depending on the needs of participants and the request for training. It should include modules one through five.

Training of trainers

The training of trainers (ToT) in psychosocial support for youth in post-conflict situations provides participants with an understanding of basic concepts, terminology and skills required to train other people (usually volunteers who work in the field) in psychosocial support. The ToT also empowers participants to deal with sensitive issues and provide reassurance, as well as emotional support. The trainer of a ToT workshop should preferably have a background in health, mental health, social welfare, education or conflict studies, or have a good understanding of social work, psychology and youth in post-conflict situations. Additionally, good communication skills and knowledge of facilitating trainings for adults are essential.

The ToT workshop in psychosocial support for youth in post-conflict situations will enable participants to:

  • facilitate trainings for other volunteers
  • understand psychological and social reactions, needs and interventions, respecting relevant and appropriate cultural frameworks
  • plan a variety of interventions that are sensitive to local circumstances
  • plan a training workshop and adapt materials to the local context.
  • Target groupThe ideal number of participants for a ToT workshop is between 12 and 18. National Societies are advised to recruit participants who have an opportunity to train others in the community, in order for the training to achieve the maximum effect.

  • Duration: The ToT can be structured in different ways, based on the needs of the National Society. However, we recommend that a ToT be completed in no less than five days and include modules one through six.