IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
Help Bring MHPSS “Voices from the Field” to the World Humanitarian Summit, 23-25 May 2016
WHAT IS THE WHS?
The World Humanitarian Summit will take place in Istanbul, from 23-24 May 2016. It is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which aims to set a new agenda for global humanitarian action.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
At the Summit, Heads of State and Government, community leaders, businesses, and humanitarian organizations will announce major commitments to action, launch new partnerships aimed at saving lives, and highlight innovations which help reduce suffering and uphold humanity in times of crisis. The issues discussed at the World Humanitarian Summit will likely set the agenda for reforms and developments in global humanitarian action for the years to come.
MHPSS IS MISSING FROM THE WHS AGENDA!
Unfortunately, the programme at the World Humanitarian Summit does NOT highlight the mental health and psychosocial support needs of people affected crisis around the world. MHPSS is not on the agenda at the High-Level Leaders’ Round Tables or at the Special Sessions that form the core of the Summit. It is also not featured at any of the 100+ approved Side-Events. Only a handful of MHPSS practitioners will be able to attend the summit, but they will not have a formal platform to raise issues of concern in the field.
THE FIELD NEEDS YOUR VOICE!
Therefore, to increase the profile of MHPSS as a key humanitarian field and to raise issues of concern to this area of work, we need your help in an urgent campaign to share the important role that MHPSS services have in supporting vulnerable people and highlighting the specific issues that practioners struggle with in the field. This campaign is being carried out in collaboration with members of the IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We would like to ask you to use social media (Twitter and Facebook) to raise “voices fromthe field” to be heard at the World Humanitarian Summit. Please post responses to the 4 questions below on Twitter (with the hashtags #MHPSS and #WHSummit ) or on Facebook (Post as a comment to the WHS-related post at the top of the MHPSS.net group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MHPSSN). If you don’t use either Twitter or Facebook, you can still contribute by answering the 4 questions on this very short online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MHPSSatWHS
POST ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS:
1) What is the most rewarding thing about your work (as someone working on MHPSS)?
2) What is the biggest challenge you face in your work (as someone working on MHPSS)?
3) Tell us a very short story from your own experience about how an MHPSS service really made a difference in the life of a vulnerable person.
4) What message do you have for the world leaders and humanitarians attending the World Humanitarian Summit? [What do you want them to do that would make a difference to the lives of the people you assist?]
ALSO do share your First Name, Your Job Is, Your Location, or maybe a Photo of Yourself (At Work) so that delegates will know where your responses are coming from.
Spread the campaign on social media
Search for the hashtag #MHPSS and #WHSummit on Twitter and get involved in the conversation. You can comment on other users tweets and you can create your own.
Tweet humanitarian agencies, relevant government institutions or attending heads of state on Twitter and send them a message:
Example: #MHPSS is a key part of crisis response @UNReliefChief! #WHSummit must promote integration of MHPSS actions across all humanitarian sectors!
Remember that including a photo of yourself (at work) may make the tweet more interesting and likely to be shared. Also include links to useful articles, blog posts, reports or videos that may help to illustrate or provide support for your message.
You can also:
- Share a picture of yourself (at work) on Facebook with a message and the hashtags.
- Tag your colleagues and ask them what they want
- Tag public figures and organizations and ask what change they are working for
What More Can I Do?
Reach out to even more people
Help others get involved: We are not all on social media and some colleagues are not well connected to the Internet either. You can help their voices to be heard. There are many ways of doing this. Ask a colleague to write down his or her answers to the question. Take a picture of her or him at work (with explicit permission) post this online. Make sure you use the hashtags in the post so it will be included in the campaign.
Engage your partners and network
Pass on this note on to colleagues in the field, and also to any colleagues who work in the communications departments of organisations that provide MHPSS services in emergencies.
Stay updated and use our posts to make your own
Follow the campaign on Facebook (facebook.com/MHPSSN) and Twitter (@mhpss) to stay updated with posts and results from the campaign. You can use our posts to create your own updates or you can simply share them, with or without a comment. Make sure you use the hashtags.
Do please join this campaign to ensure that MHPSS gets onto the WHS agenda and is an integral part of reforms and development of global humanitarian systems in the future!