There are 53 full MHPSS Reference Group (RG) members, 9 observers plus 7 donor organizations. Five members are classified as ‘networks’ (MHPSS.net, InterAction, INEE, ACT Alliance and ICVA), with 7 UN agencies (UN Migration Agency/ IOM, UNHCR, WHO, UNICEF, UNRWA, UNFPA and OCHA). The International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies’ Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (IFRC PS Centre) is a member, alongside more than 30 international NGOs.
During this year, 5 new member organizations joined the group as full members; Americares, CBM International-Basic Needs, Jesuit Refugee Service, Medair and TPO Uganda.
Country-level MHPSS working groups exist currently in 20 emergencies and are supported by the RG. The RG represent the only global Interagency support mechanism for MHPSS working groups and for MHPSS in emergencies as a crosscutting area of work.
This guidance has been developed to provide practical support to those involved in planning humanitarian programming who seek to be more sensitive to the faith perspectives and resources of the communities within which they are working. It focuses particularly on the programming area of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), but in a manner that seeks to provide pointers for more faithsensitive humanitarian programming overall.
The guidance is closely aligned with the existing IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (2007). The IASC MHPSS Guidelines are a familiar framework for most global humanitarian actors. By developing faith-sensitive guidance within this structure, we aim to provide for a consistent approach of value to both faith-based and non-faith-based actors. The focus throughout is on the faith and resources of communities impacted by humanitarian emergencies, not on the faith tradition (or not) of humanitarian providers.
This document provides guidance in the assessment, research, design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programmes in emergency settings. Although designed specifically for emergency contexts (including protracted crises), the framework may also be applicable for the transition phases from emergency to development (including disaster risk reduction initiatives). The framework assumes familiarity with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings1 and an understanding of programming in humanitarian relief and/or development.