The mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of people affected by disasters and emergencies can be deeply affected. Left untreated, these hidden wounds have far-reaching and long-term negative impacts for individuals, families, communities and entire societies Addressing mental health and psychosocial needs is an integral part of the IFRC’s objective to prevent and alleviate human suffering and protect life, health, and dignity.
Natural disasters and other emergencies routinely expose people to extremely distressing experiences, ranging from the loss of loved ones, of home, property and of livelihoods, to severe violations of human dignity such as sexual and gender-based violence. These distressing experiences are often repeated over many years, as emergencies grow in complexity and duration.
The IFRC and it’s 192-member National Societies provide a variety of services and programmes to address the mental health & psychosocial needs of communities around the world, ranging from the provision of basic psychological support to more specialized mental health care.
The IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support is an outsourced function of the Federation Secretariat, hosted by Danish Red Cross. It serves as the hub of technical expertise in mental health and psychosocial support for the movement.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Policy on Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs was adopted during the 2019 RCRC statutory meetings.
During the 2019 statutory meetings, a resolution Addressing MHPSS needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies was adopted. This resolution invites the IFRC, ICRC, National Societies, states, and other key stakeholders prioritize and ensure the longterm provision of MHPSS support for emergency affected populations.