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Manual “Psychosocial support in emergencies”

Whenever disasters, emergencies and armed conflicts happen, when economic crises strike and people are forced to become refugees, when they lose their relatives and friends, their homes, livelihood, emotional pain, sorrow, anger and frustration become part of their loses. By being engaged in such situations, the Red Cross of Serbia volunteers not just save lives, but also emphasise protection and improving of mental health through strengthening resilience of individuals, families and communities. Providing psychosocial support in such situations always reflects the fundamental principles and values of the Red Cross.

The manual you have before you is emphasising support that is needed by both the vulnerable population as well as the helpers. This manual on one hand contributes to increase of capacity, knowledge and capability of staff and volunteers to provide psychosocial support, in short and longer term, and on the other it is a good tool to guide and provide practical advice to helpers. This manual contains information, guidelines, examples of good practice, tools and a wide range of psychosocial activities and interventions that can be used to overcome stress and crisis and improve mental health. It is a useful guide for planning, designing and implementing adequate strategy for providing psychosocial support.

The manual has ten chapters:

  • Crisis event
  • Life event
  • Resilience
  • Psychosocial support
  • Basic activities in providing psychosocial support
  • Needs assessment
  • Responding to specific context and events
  • Special risks during emergencies
  • Groups at heightened risk in emergencies
  • Care for volunteers and staff