IASC Guidance on Basic Psychosocial Skills: A Guide for COVID-19 Responders

Published Date

This Guide aims to help orient people supporting the COVID-19 response to integrate psychosocial support skills into their daily work, thereby making a difference to the well-being of people they come into contact with during the pandemic. More specifically, the Guide is intended for health and social workers; emergency responders; people working in food stores, public transport, funeral parlours and pharmacies; employers and managers; and people who are providing support to vulnerable family members or members of their community.

The illustrated chapters provide practical advice for taking care of one’s own mental well-being, communicating with empathy, and helping people suffering from stress or severe distress. Case studies and tips to remember are included throughout.

The Guide was developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings.  

The Guide is the result of two rounds of formal consultations and weekly calls among the 57 IASC MHPSS Reference Group member organizations, including the Chairs of the MHPSS Technical Working Groups deployed in 22 humanitarian emergencies. More than 200 people who have recovered from COVID-19 and emergency responders in 24 countries provided input to the document. 

Furthermore, around 200 COVID-19 survivors as well as COVID-19 emergency responders in 24 countries participated in a survey, a consultation and the piloting of the document.

For more information please see IASC Guidance on Basic Psychosocial Skills: A Guide for COVID-19 Responders.

Short Animation of this Guide available here.