NEW: Living with the Times, A Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Toolkit for Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In addition to the wide range of publications that it drafted in response to the Covid-19, the MHPSS Reference Group identified a gap relating to the resources available to support older adults in the pandemic. It therefore prepared this toolkit, the first global interagency tool developed in the COVID-19 context to support mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of one of the most vulnerable age groups in this pandemic. The document is the result of a wide consultation process, engaging practitioners and around 200 persons aged between 60 and 90 years from 51 countries, who informed the pilot- and field-testing phases as well as the design and content of the product. It consists of a set of posters with key messages, which build upon the guidance chapter for older adults in the IASC Interim Briefing Note Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Aspects of COVID-19 Outbreak, and the IASC Guidance on Operational Considerations for Multisectoral Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programmes during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The posters require minimal reading skills, are culturally diverse and aim to engage older adults in conversations and activities. The guide also includes instructions for MHPSS facilitators on how to conduct guided conversations with older adults using the toolkit. The process was a unique inter-agency collaboration between experts from different disciplines, including dementia, MHPSS in humanitarian settings, ageing and disability; overseen by an ad-hoc thematic working group on older adults.