Mental health and psychosocial support in crisis situations

More people than ever are being forced to leave their homes due to armed conflict, other violence and natural disasters. The impact this has on their mental health is often invisible, yet mental wellbeing is crucial for rebuilding both human lives and affected areas.

Humanitarian organisations do everything they can in crisis situations, providing emergency aid in the form of food, water and shelter. But more is needed. Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) is just as important because it restores people’s ability to take care of themselves and others. MHPSS should therefore be part of the basic assistance provided in crisis situations.

you live in a small town 
You have lived here all your life 
You don’t have much... 
but it is enough 
Suddenly, your whole life is swept away in an instant.
You have to run and even when you reach safety... 
you can’t stop thinking about your losses. 
It’s nearly impossible to imagine the future.
Of course you need food, water and a roof over your head... 
but psychosocial support and perspective are just as important.
Support can take different shapes: 
You may want to share your experiences. 
Some people need special care.  
Additional attention may help children... 
to cope with their feelings... 
to gain trust and make friends. 
Extra measures can help you feel secure again.
Worldwide, almost seventy million people have been forcibly displaced. 
The highest number in decades.
More than one in five people affected by conflict have a mental health condition. 
They have lived through terrible experiences.
Together we can and must do better. 
We need to combine our knowledge and strengths to give these people the urgent support they need.
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support is a necessity in any humanitarian response. 
Essential to rebuild lives and societies.