Operational considerations for multi-sectoral MHPSS programs during the COVID-19 pandemic
IASC Reference group on mental health and psychosocial support
In March 2020 the IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support uniting 57 humanitarian organizations as member issued the Interim Briefing Note Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Aspects of COVID-19 Outbreak. This document has proven to be very useful in the response and has till now been translated in 24 languages. It covers a set of recommended activities as well as messages for different target groups.
The current document is an annex to the Interim Briefing Note and is meant to support the MHPSS operational response within the various sectors of humanitarian work. Approaches and interventions to MHPSS are not confined to one sector, but need to be integrated within many existing sectors and clusters.
This document contains a wealth of operational information and practical approaches that can be used for humanitarian programming in health, SGBV, community-based protection, nutrition, camp management and camp coordination.
It contains five sections:
1. Adapting psychological first aid for the COVID-19 context,
2. Continuation of comprehensive and clinical MHPSS care in humanitarian settings during the COVID-19 pandemic,
3. Mental health and psychosocial support considerations for children, adolescents and families during the COVID-19 response.
4. Considerations for developing MHPSS responses to the COVID-19 pandemic for older adults,
5. Addressing substance use and addictive behaviours during the COVID-19 outbreak.