Center for Immigrant, Refugee and Global Health at CUNY

G L O B A L   I N I T I A T I V E

Mental Health & Psychosocial Support

With funding from USAID’s Center of Excellence in Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG), CIRGH assists HEARD in its efforts to strengthen the evidence base and accelerate data liberation and evidence use related to community-level mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions. Activities include: (i) funding studies to understand better the effectiveness and implementation of community-level MHPSS interventions; (ii) supporting a cross-study learning collaborative to facilitate connections and coordination across study teams and between study teams and technical and policy partners at the local, national, regional, and global levels; and (iii) establishing an implementation science collaborative network on MHPSS, which is connected to existing MHPSS communities of practice and networks.

IASC Levels of MHPSS Intervention

One of the biggest challenges facing survivors of torture and those living in emergency contexts is the lack of mental health care and psychosocial support. Mental health and psychosocial support interventions (MHPSS) are defined as “any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial wellbeing and/or prevent or treat mental disorders.” (IASC, 2017) MHPSS interventions are commonly used by non-governmental and humanitarian organizations in challenging settings to improve psychosocial wellbeing and mental health. In many settings however, trauma-exposed individuals enter the mental health system through general community- or primary care level services, rather than through interventions explicitly targeting Victims of Torture or other trauma exposed individuals. Therefore, improving access to these services broadly will directly benefit survivors or torture and traumatic events related to war.

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