This is an online orientation course to strengthen the competencies of health sector actors working in emergencies to establish, support and scale up Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in countries. The focus of this course is on how to apply existing practical, evidence-based, scalable tools and practice-led approaches for successful implementation of projects to strengthen MHPSS in emergencies operations, protection from mental health and psychosocial consequences of crises and towards the realization of universal mental health coverage.
Through this training, the participants will learn about key approaches to advocacy and to identify entry points for mental health and psychosocial integration as an integral and cross-cutting component in public health emergency responses and in humanitarian emergencies. The training will also emphasize a focus on early recovery, highlighting WHO’s past successes in building back better.
Please note that modules 4 and 11 are under construction. As soon as they are published, an email will be sent to you so that you can access them.
Photo credit: WHO/Fahmy Hanna - MHPSS awareness campaign, Libya.
The course is available in:
Polski - Українська - Spanish
Overview: This online orientation course aims for strengthening the competencies of health sector actors working in emergencies, to establish, support and scale up Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in countries.
The composite term ‘Mental Health and Psychosocial Support’ (MHPSS) is used in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines for MHPSS in Emergency Settings to describe ‘any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well-being and/or prevent or treat mental health condition’. The global humanitarian system uses the term MHPSS to unite a broad range of actors responding to emergencies such as the COVID-19 outbreak, including those working with biological approaches and sociocultural approaches in health, social, education and community settings, as well as to underscore the need for diverse, complementary approaches in providing appropriate support. The Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19, released in February 2021, highlighted that mental health and psychosocial support is an integral component in public health emergency response that must be addressed across a range of response pillars, including case management, risk communication and community engagement and the maintenance of safe and accessible essential health services. Despite their tragic nature and adverse effects on mental health, Emergencies are unparalleled opportunities to build better mental health services and psychosocial supports for all people in need.
The primary audience of this course is humanitarian health sector staff seeking to integrate MHPSS into their programmes. This includes WHO Health Emergencies Programme Staff and humanitarian actors from UN agencies, NGOs and Governments. In addition, (other) Professional Officers (e.g. in areas of NCDs, Reproductive Health and HIV) in country offices, humanitarian organizations and Ministries of Health will also benefit from participating in at least some of the training sessions.
Course learning objectives: By the end of the course, participants should:
apply their understanding of priority MHPSS actions and use to tools to:
~ rapidly respond to MHPSS needs in an emergency, by developing a plan of action for all steps from initial assessment to later implementation in a recovery phase,
~ explain the requirements of MHPS response to ensure Staff can contract, consult with and monitor the relevant partners, WHO MHPSS staff and consultants to ensure the plan is implemented in a timely and effective way,
~ effectively advocate for MHPSS responses in an emergency with all stakeholders to ensure a successful plan,
~ provide broad technical support on all the above;
contribute to the provision of technical advice on critical measures and steps to support the Government, funding agencies, and humanitarian partners in responding in emergencies;
engage in policy dialogues on MHPSS, and enhance partnerships.
Course duration: Approximately 7 hours.
Certificates: A Record of Achievement certificate will be available to participants who score at least 80% of the total points available across all of the quizzes. Participants who receive a Record of Achievement can also download an Open Badge for this course. Click here to learn how.