One of the priorities in emergencies is to protect and improve people's mental health and psychosocial well-being.
A significant gap has been the absence of a multi-sectoral, inter-agency framework that enables effective coordination, identifies useful practices, flags potentially harmful practices, and clarifies how different approaches to mental health and psychosocial support complement one another.
These Guidelines reflect the insights of practitioners from different geographical regions, disciplines and sectors, and reflect an emerging consensus on good practice among practitioners. The core idea behind them is that, in the early phase of an emergency, social supports are essential to protect and support mental health and psychosocial well-being. In addition, the Guidelines recommend selected psychological and psychiatric interventions for specific problems.
The composite term mental health and psychosocial support is used in this document to describe any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well-being and/or prevent or treat mental disorder.