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Pre-training meeting: Psychosocial Support in Emergencies

A training for Red Cross Red Crescent MHPSS focal points using blended learning
12 to 15 October 11 to 5:30 CEST
And pre-training meeting 1 October 1 to 2:30 pm CEST

A four-day on-line course in development and practical implementation of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support strategies in humanitarian settings, including pandemics, is offered online.

An emergency and disaster intervention effort without a mental health and psychosocial support strategy is incomplete. To ensure the best possible short and long-term effects of the mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), the implementation requires specialized knowledge of a number of disciplines within the field.  The training is for IFRC and Red Cross Red Crescent Societies focal persons and delegates responsible for initiating the overall mental health and psychosocial activities and interventions during disasters.

The training methodology is based on blended learning where participants study and meet with a training buddy before the training and the on-line training is problem-based with practical exercises, group work, role plays, and case studies. Trainees must have their camera on for most of the online training time.

Training objectives
Upon completion of the course participants will be:

  • Prepared for work as responders in humanitarian operations including pandemics
  • Equipped with a psychosocial technical skills-set allowing them to rapidly assess, plan, coordinate and implement priority interventions during different types of disasters and emergencies
  • Trained to identify needs for protection and integrate such measurements in MHPSS approaches
  • Advocate for needs of mental health and psychosocial support activities and programmes
  • Able to develop key MHPSS messages for those affected by an emergency
  • Able to engage and collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the communities and participate in relevant coordination bodies
  • Knowledgeable of how to identify, train and support volunteers as well as how to build resilience in volunteers

Subjects covered in the training are:

  • Principles and guidelines for MHPSS including protection in emergencies
  • Preparing for missions and remote support
  • Assessments and data collection
  • Psychosocial triage in the acute phases
  • Violence prevention and protection in emergencies
  • Collaborating with or integrating tracing services in responses
  • Psychological First Aid in emergency operations
  • Establishing mental health and psychosocial support activities
  • Identifying and collaborating with key stakeholders in the community such as faith-based leaders
  • Managing volunteers and developing a training plan for volunteers
  • Developing key MHPSS messages for the affected
  • Advocating for MHPSS with key stakeholders
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Developing a plan of action

Dates, deadlines, and other important information
The training takes place 12 to 15 October from 11 am to 5:30 pm CEST. Participants must attend a pre-training meeting on 4 October at 1 pm to 2:30 CEST, and there will be an assignment to present during the training. Participants will also be invited to a focus group discussion after the training to discuss the pilot and give recommendations for future online trainings.

The course is open for Red Cross Red Crescent focal points with previous training and experience in providing MHPSS and who have worked in the field. Participants must have sufficient written and oral English skills to engage actively in the course.

Applications are submitted online here: https://www.survey-xact.dk/LinkCollector?key=97VJPW1SJ612

Applications close midnight CEST 21 September. Once you have applied, you will receive a notification by mail. The selected participants will be notified by 24 September 2021.

Trainees must:

  • be available during the pre-training meetings and during training hours
  • have good internet connection, a pc with a camera, and a smart phone
  • have access to Zoom and Google drive
  • be on camera during training hours
  • be undisturbed and available during training hours

Check https://www.timeanddate.com/ to ensure the timings in your zone

Please note that certificates will be issued provided a trainee has been present 80 % of the time, taken active part in preparation and facilitation of the session, demonstrated understanding of the topics, been active throughout the training, and has taken on the different other assignments as instructed.

Participants are expected to:

  • Have knowledge of the MHPSS impact and consequences of emergencies, stress, and coping
  • Actively participate in all sections and tasks related to the training
  • Have a background in education, social work, psychology, psychiatry, mental or public health or similar fields

Required pre-reading and online training:

  • Health Emergency Response Unit – Psychosocial Component Delegate Manual (IFRC PS Centre, 2019)
  • IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings: Checklist (IASC, 2007)
  • Five Essential Elements of Immediate and Mid-Term Mass Trauma Intervention: Empirical Evidence. (2012)
  • Online PFA training for COVID – basic and additional modules. pscentre.org

Participants should be familiar with the generic resources:

  • A Guide to Psychological First Aid for Red Cross Red Crescent Societies. (IFRC PS Centre, 2018)
  • Operational Guidance for Child Friendly Spaces in Humanitarian Settings. (World Vision and IFRC PS Centre, 2018)
  • Activity Catalogue for Child Friendly Spaces in Humanitarian Settings. (World Vision and IFRC PS Centre, 2018) pscentre.org
  • Inter-Agency Guide to the Evaluation of Psychosocial Programming in Humanitarian Crises. (UNICEF, 2011)


Please, direct any questions to psacademy@rodekors.dk