A knowledge resource selected by UNICEF for humanitarian practitioners everywhere
Community-based mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian settings
The escalation and protracted nature of conflicts today, and the large-scale migration of families in search of safety and economic opportunity, have led to a child protection crisis. Terrorism, disease outbreaks, intensifying natural disasters and the impacts of climate change also contribute to the changing dynamic of threats faced by children, families and communities. They may lack adequate security, access to psychosocial support and recreational activities, and children may miss out on school for months – sometimes years.
Building upon decades of experience in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming for children and adolescents, the operational guidelines detailed in this report aim to protect and promote children’s well-being and full participation within their families and communities. The guidelines help UNICEF staff and partners support safe, nurturing environments for children’s recovery. They present an operational framework for engaging children, caregivers, families and community service providers in designing and implementing MHPSS strategies that are locally relevant, comprehensive and sustainable. Such strategies are a critical component of the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health for 2016–2030.