IASC briefing on "The Integration of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the COVID-19 Response"
Did you miss the briefing? Watch the full recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvtoSyjJmS0
NEW: An IASC resources page for MHPSS Reference Group products related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the May 2020 update of the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (Global HRP), Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) was identified as an essential, basic need for all people. As a cross-cutting issue that is relevant to all strategic priorities in all sectors of humanitarian response, MHPSS activities were included in the COVID-19 Global HRP by several United Nations agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, IOM, UNRWA and WHO). The UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, called on governments, civil society, health authorities and others to come together and urgently to address the mental health and psychosocial dimension of this pandemic in his Policy Brief on COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health and statement on mental health on 13 May 2020.
The webinar provided over 160 participants with an overview of tools developed by the IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (chaired by WHO and IFRC) to support the COVID-19 response. It also featured presentations from co-chairs of two country-level MHPSS Technical Working Groups in Afghanistan and Nigeria about their experience scaling up support on the ground with these tools. This includes guidance for organizations on recommended activities to address mental health and psychosocial aspects of the pandemic, a guide on basic psychosocial skills for all COVID-19 responders and a children's story book to help children and families cope with COVID-19 stressors, and more. These tools have been widely disseminated and made available in different languages, including 109 translations of the children’s story book by governments, UN agencies, NGOs and academic institutions to support children worldwide.
- Ms. Mervat Shelbaya, Head, Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) secretariat
- Dr. Fahmy Hanna, Co-Chair of the IASC MHPSS Reference Group & Technical Officer for the World Health Organization Department of Mental Health and Substance Use, Geneva
- Ms. Sarah Harrison, Co-Chair of the IASC MHPSS Reference Group, Technical MHPSS Advisor, IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, Copenhagen
- Ms. Nadia Jabarkhail, Coordinator of the MHPSS Technical Working Group in Kabul, Action Against Hunger
- Ms. Deborah Magdalena, Coordinator of the MHPSS Technical Working Group in Maiduguri, International Organization for Migration
Are you new to IASC briefings? Check out our past recordings of briefings on “Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) including challenges during COVID-19 response" (7 May 2020) and “Climate crisis and humanitarian action: bigger, faster… better?” (27 February 2020). You can also find recordings of the IASC Peer-2-Peer webinars here.