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Psychosocial Support in Emergencies – an online training

A four-day on-line course in development and practical implementation of mental health and psychosocial support strategies in humanitarian settings as pandemics is offered online. The training is a pilot and carried out online due to COVID-19.  The training methodology is based on problem-based learning using practical exercises, group work, role plays, case studies and requires active on-line participation. 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, key volunteers and delegates are responsible for initiating the overall mental health and psychosocial activities and interventions during emergencies. Training objectives Upon completion of the course participants will be:
  • Prepared for work as psychosocial support responders in humanitarian operations including pandemics
  • Equipped with a psychosocial technical skills-set allowing them to rapidly assess, plan, coordinate and implement priority psychosocial interventions during different types of disasters and emergencies
  • Trained to identify needs for protection and integrate such measurements in mental health and psychosocial support approaches
  • Advocate for needs of mental health and psychosocial support activities and programmes Able to develop key 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 mental health and psychosocial support and protection in emergencies
  • Preparing for missions and remote support
  • Assessments and data collection
  • Psychosocial triage and remote triage in acute situations
  • 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
  • Coordination and cooperation
Dates, deadlines and other important information The training takes place 14 to 17 September from 9 am to 4:30 pm CET. Participants must attend a mandatory pre-training meeting 3 September, 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. Applications must be submitted through the online system Target group and qualifications The course is open for Red Cross Red Crescent staff with previous training and experience in providing community-based psychosocial support and working conditions in the field. Participants must have sufficient written and oral English skills to engage actively in the course. Participants are expected to:
  • Have knowledge of psychosocial consequences of emergencies, stress and coping as well as good facilitation skills and insight into adult education methodologies
  • 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:
  • Relevant COVID-19 materials on pscentre.org
  • 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)
Questions Please, direct any questions to psacademy@rodekors.dk