How can we increase the mental health & psychological well being of people affected by humanitarian settings?

Mental health and psychological well being are increasingly important themes in providing humanitarian aid. The Dutch Relief Alliance is keen to search for innovative solutions around this topic which will enable humanitarian organisations to offer more effective help to people affected.

(1) Addressing psychosocial needs of children under seven

Help a Child (Red een Kind) is eager to work together with parties which share the willingness to address psychosocial needs of children under 7, which are often overlooked during crises. Do you have innovative ideas on how to support these children directly (e.g. using toys) or via their parents/guardians (e.g. parenting methods), feel free to contact us! Together we can make a great impact on the lives of these children and the society around them.

Contact: Esther de Jong

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(2) Addressing the psychosocial needs of groups with low levels of trust and lack of social cohesion

Slum dwellers in Monrovia and refugees in Addis Ababa frequently suffer from psychosocial trauma and poor mental wellbeing. Considering that ZOA is not a specialized mental health organization, the challenge will be how to address the tremendous psychosocial needs of these target groups. ZOA Liberia and ZOA Ethiopia are looking for proven methodologies to address the psychosocial needs of target populations in complex situations.

Contact: Marleen Spieker

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(3) Better equipping communities to deal with their mental health and psychosocial needs

ZOA Iraq and the War Trauma Foundation intend to provide a service on MHPSS in Mosul. This project ultimately will help to scale up the middle 70% of mental health services. By strengthening community and family support and by bringing more people up to community worker level; a smaller percentage of the community will need to rely on specialized services in Mosul, which currently lack capacities to address all needs.

Contact: Eva van Iwaarden

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(4) Innovating life-saving support networks

Lack of psychosocial support and means of livelihood are the two primary factors that are contributing to high suicide rates among women in Pakistan. It is necessary to address both the psychosocial and livelihood components simultaneously to ensure holistic support to the women in affected communities. CARE Nederland is proposing a unique approach to provide sustainable means of income through the creation of a mobile application that will benefit the communities beyond the project cycle and increase their financial inclusion in the economy. Moreover, the provision of social and emotional support to women will help them become active participants in their own improvement and well being, whilst engaging men and boys as part of the supportive networks.

Contact: Graciela van der Poel

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(5) Engaging local faith actors to effectively address psycho social needs

Tearfund NL is seeking improved ways to effectively enable local faith actors (like religious leaders, faith communities, and institutions) to improve their response to mental health needs of people living in conflict affected settings. Through innovative solutions we aim to strengthen local resources and capacity already available, and by engaging faith actors more effectively, significantly improve people’s psycho social well being in conflict affected and low resource contexts where MHPSS services are unable to meet the needs of the affected population.

Contact: Gerinke Fountain

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(6) Offering the use of existing positive coping mechanisms in Afghanistan

Four decades of war in Afghanistan is causing a vast amount of mental pain and suffering. A study in 2012 found that 42 percent of Afghans suffered from post-traumatic stress, and 68 percent exhibited signs of major depression.
Unfortunately, very few Afghans and humanitarian staff have access to good support to heal their psychological wounds and deal with ongoing stress. The challenge identified by Cordaid in collaboration with their partners, is the lack of access to quality, localized mental health and psycho-social support, that makes use of existing positive coping mechanisms.

Contact: Magriet Verhoeven

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(7) Seamless MHPSS Along the Migration Journey

Despite steady increases in migration and displacement, quality seamless MHPSS care accessible to vulnerable children and families are lacking across the migration route. Save the Children seeks to create a continuum of quality, evidence-based MHPSS care and services for vulnerable children and families on the move to ensure children’s protection, recovery and optimal development. We seek expertise to access and track vulnerable children and families along the migration route in need of MHPSS care, and to co-design potential solutions through a series of ideation workshops.

Contact: Stijn Koster

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