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Psychosocial support in emergencies


On Monday 14 May 2018, staring at noon in the Belgrade media Centre, the Red Cross of Serbia will organise a press conference to present three psychosocial support in emergencies manuals that are an important resource in preserving and improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities during and after emergencies. The manuals are: Psychological First Aid – Guide for Field Workers, a World Health organisation’s Manual translated to Serbian by the Red Cross of Serbia, Community-based Psychosocial Support, International federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ manual translated to Serbian by the Red Cross of Serbia, and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies manual created by the Red Cross of Serbia.

Natural disasters, large scale emergencies, armed conflicts and the related population movement are some of the events that marked the final years of the XX and the beginning of the XXI century. Such events brought with them large material damage across the globe as well as suffering to large swaths of the population. Individuals, families, communities, countries and, in extreme cases, whole regions have been affected by different disasters and their consequences needed to be mitigated. We need to be aware that the risks of such events are not diminishing and that it is reasonable to expect them to occur in the future, so we must be ready in order to minimise negative effects and increase the resilience of individuals, families and communities.

When emergencies, disasters and armed conflicts occur, when people undergo economic crashes and are forced to flee their homes, when they lose their family and friends, their homes and sustenance, these loses are accompanied by emotional pain, anger and frustration. Acting in such situations, the Red Cross of Serbia volunteers and staff not only work to save people’s lives, they also put an emphasis on protecting and improving people’s mental health, on increasing the resilience of individuals, families and communities. Providing psychosocial support in such situations reflects fundamental principles and values of the Red Cross.

The Red Cross of Serbia assists the people affected by different emergencies and crises and its objectives are reached thanks to the network of professional staff and volunteers that undergo continuous education and whose foremost motivation is wellbeing of the affected population. The activities of the Red Cross in this as well as other areas are in line with the Law on the Red Cross. In responding to emergencies the National Society first and foremost cares for preservation and improvement of human dignity.


  • Vesna Milenovic, Secretary General of the Red Cross of Serbia
  • dr Jeyathesan Kulasingam, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Regional Office for Europe
  • dr Zsofia Pusztai,WHO representative and Head of WHO Office in Serbia
  • Lidija Ric Rihter, psychologist, Red Cross of Serbia
  • Natasa Todorovic, psychologist, Red Cross of Serbia