The 2007 Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support(MHPSS) are currently being reviewed by the IASC Reference Group on MHPSS. This initiative is supported by UNICEF and will include a survey, a desk review, programme analysis, case studies and in-depth interviews with key actors in the sector. This is an opportunity for agencies to provide feedback on their experience with the guidelines. We anticipate that the review will promote broader use of the Guidelines, highlight it’s strengths and weaknesses, and identify gaps. Read more
Intervention, Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas has been published since 2003. We think it’s time to evaluate the impact of Intervention. Please dedicate 10 minutes of your time to complete this survey and share your feedback on Intervention with us.
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On behalf of War Trauma Foundation
Donatien de Graaff
Interact with Intervention readers and contributors at our group (click here) on mhpss.net
The Office of the Special Representative on Violence against Children is developing a web tool for children to provide a platform for children to share and access resources for/by children about ending and preventing violence (a sort of ‘clearinghouse’ of resources). An online survey for children has been developed to help gain a better understanding of how children currently use and access resources and what kind of online tool could be most useful to them. The survey is available in English, French, Arabic and Spanish (links provided below) and should take 15-20 minutes to complete. PDF versions of the survey are also available in case this is easier for children to fill out. (please return to [email protected]). Read more
Emilia, based in the UK, is the new Regional Host for Refugee Integration and Settlement. Emilia has more than 6 years of research experience looking at complexities of integration and migrants’ settlement processes from a multidisciplinary and policy-focussed perspective. Contact Emilia at [email protected] for support in getting the most out of this network in relation to Refugee Integration and Settlement in Europe.
Traumatic stress in injured children and their families is seen as an area of importance in emergency care. Doctors and nurses in several countries have indicated a need to learn more about the topic. An international team of health and mental health professionals now aims to develop free, tailored training materials for Emergency Department (ED) staff. To do this well, they are conducting a survey to understand training needs and wishes. Read more
Tineke van Pietersom is founder and Executive Director of the Antares Foundation. She obtained a Masters in Health Management, Planning and Policy and has a background in law and education. She has held management positions within international NGOs, such as MSF-Holland for more than a decade, working in the field and in headquarters as project manager and operational director. She has set up management trainings for field directors and was responsible for coaching field managers. She worked as an independent consultant, in the field of management and humanitarian aid, carrying out assessments and project evaluations.
Since 1999 she is full time involved in the Antares Foundation. She is responsible for operational management and organizational development. She plays a major role in the design of psycho social support and stress management programs worldwide, and is responsible for the overseas projects. In addition, she frequently conducts field assessments, monitoring missions, project and training evaluations and management trainings for international and national NGOs. She has designed various staff support programs for international and national NGOs in Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East and Former Soviet Republics.
Despina Constandinides is the Psychosocial Support Consultant, Red Cross Red Crescent, MENA. She represents a psychosocial consortium of Danish Red Cross and Italian Red Cross working with Lebanon Red Cross and Jordan and Iraqi Red Crescent. She holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in Ball State University. She has experience in working with displaced and traumatised populations living in the occupied Palestinian State, refugees from Iraq and Syria. Her work involves training and supervision of staff and volunteers in the MENA region as well as supporting the Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies to develop psychosocial support interventions in response to the Syria crisis.
Winnifred Simon is Director of the Antares Foundation. Her educational background includes studies in Linguistics and Philosophy as well as Semantics, Socio Linguistics and Psycho Linguistics, followed by Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. She received extensive additional postgraduate training in Psychotherapy and Counseling Studies at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Within the Antares Foundation she is responsible for research and development of the psychosocial support programs. She leads an international team of psychologists and psychiatrists conducting stress management workshops in the field, giving psychological support to teams and individuals after critical incidents and supporting management of NGOs in development of psychosocial systems for their staff. She is responsible for the organization of major conferences on Stress and the Humanitarian Aid Workers, held in Amsterdam in cooperation with CDC. Currently, Dr. Simon is coordinating various international working groups on research, methods and techniques, and minimum standards of psychosocial care for humanitarian staff.
Dr. Simon has extensive working experience within humanitarian organizations, both in the field and at headquarters level. Within MSF-Holland she was responsible for the development and management of the psychosocial care and trauma prevention unit for ten years. During these years she was responsible and actively involved in crisis intervention in field situations, teaching and training field managers in stress management support after major evacuations and during ongoing stressful situations. She has conducted numerous consultancies for Antares on mental health programs and implemented staff support programs all over the world.
Collective Trauma, Collective Healing is a guide for mental health professionals working in response to large-scale political violence or natural disaster. It provides a framework that practitioners can use to develop their own community based, collective approach to treating trauma and providing clinical services that are both culturally and contextually appropriate. Clinicians will come away from the book with a solid understanding of new roles that health and mental health professionals play in disasters—roles that encourage them to recognize and enhance the resilience and coping skills in families, organizations, and the community at large. Read more
Click here for the Guidance.
This operational guidance on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) provides a practical orientation and tools for UNHCR country operations. It covers specific points of good practice to consider when developing MHPSS programming and offers advice on priority issues and practical difficulties, while also providing some background information and definitions. Since MHPSS is a cross cutting concept this operational guidance is relevant for programming in various sectors, including health, community-based protection, education, shelter, nutrition, food security and livelihoods.
The focus of this operational guidance is on refugees and asylum seekers, but it may apply to other persons of concern within UNHCR operations such as stateless persons, internally displaced persons and returnees.
The guidance is meant for operations in both camp and non-camp settings, and in both rural and urban settings in low and middle-income countries with a UNHCR presence. The guidance should be adapted according to different contexts. A standardized format for programme implementation cannot be offered because this depends to a large extent on existing national capacities and local opportunities.
This position statement presents the current best evidence in the field of global mental health and highlights the positive contribution that attention to mental health can make to the global development agenda. It was prepared with the participation of individual and organisational members of the Movement for Global Mental Health.
We call upon the United Nations and other parties who are developing the Post 2015 Framework and implementation plan, and those who will implement proposed activities, to include the following three specific elements, all of which are essential components of the global development agenda.
Please click here for the full statement.
Dr. Nancy Baron received her Doctorate in Education at the University of Massachusetts, U.S.A. with a concentration in Family Therapy and Counseling Psychology.
Dr. Baron has provided training, consultation, assessment, program design and development, research and evaluation for UN organizations and international and local NGOs in community and family focused psycho-social, mental health and peace building initiatives for conflict, post-conflict and disaster affected countries since 1989.
She is the Founder and Director of the Psycho-Social Services and Training Institute in Cairo, Egypt (An affiliate of Terre des hommes). This initiative spans the 4 levels of intervention recommended by the IASC MHPSS Guidelines. In the urban pandemonium of greater Cairo’s 20 million inhabitants, a network of African, Iraqi and Syrian refugees are trained and facilitated to provide 24-7 community based psychosocial and mental health support to refugees by refugees in their own languages and in accordance with their cultures and traditions together with Egyptian psychiatrists
Dr. Baron’s work has spanned the globe from Africa: Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen; to Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan and Sri Lanka; and Eastern Europe: Kosovo and Albania; the South Pacific: Solomon Islands; and South America: Colombia; and in the Middle East: Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
She is a member of the international Inter Agency Standing Committee Psychosocial Reference Group that developed the guidelines for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings.
Some of her related publications include:
- Baron, N. for TPO Uganda/REPSSI (2009) Handbooks for trainers training teachers, health and community workers about integrating psychosocial and mental health support in emergencies.
- Baron, N. for International Psychosocial Reference Group (2009) Online Resource Kit of training materials and seminar about IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.
- Baron, N. with Molenwiek Films (2007) On the Road to Peace of Mind: Training of Psychosocial Trainers film and handbook.
- Baron, N. (2006) The ‘TOT’: A Global Approach for the Training of Trainers for Psychosocial and Mental Health Interventions in Countries Affected by War, Violence and Natural Disasters, Special Issue Intervention Journal.
- Baron, N. with Molenwiek Films (2002) Echoes of War and Finding Courage documentary films.
- Baron, N. The Little Elephant Find His Courage (1996) and The Little Elephant Finds Peace (2002).
- Baron, N., Jensen, S.B, DeJong, J. (2002) Mental Health of Refugees and Internally Displaced People In Guidelines for Psychosocial Policy and Practice in Social and Humanitarian Crises; Report to United Nations and Book; Ed. Fairbanks J., Friedman M., De Jong, J. Green, B., Solomon, S. Plenum/Kluwer.
- Baron, N. (2002), Community Based Psycho-Social and Mental Health Services for Southern Sudanese Refugees Living in Long Term Exile in Uganda In Trauma, War and Violence: Public Mental Health in a Socio-Cultural Context, Editor De Jong, J., Plenum/Kluwer Press, NY.
- Baron, N. (2002) Southern Sudanese Refugees: In Exile Forever? In A Psychosocial Approach to Innovative Multicultural Interventions, Editors Bemak, Chung, Pederson, Greenwood Press, NY.
Dr. Baron makes her home in Cairo, Egypt.