Operational Guidance Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Programming for Refugee Operations

UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, (2013)

This operational guidance on MHPSS provides a practical orientation and tools for UNHCR country operations. It covers specific points of good practice to consider when developing MHPSS programming and offers advice on priority issues and practical difficulties, while also providing some background information and definitions. Since MHPSS is a cross cutting concept this operational guidance is relevant for programming in various sectors, including health, community based protection, education, shelter, nutrition, food security and livelihoods. The focus of this operational guidance is on refugees and asylum seekers, but it may apply to other persons of concern within UNHCR operations such as stateless persons, internally displaced persons and returnees. The guidance is meant for operations in both camp and non-camp settings, and in both rural and urban settings in low and middle-income countries with a UNHCR presence. The guidance should be adapted according to different contexts. A standardized format for programme implementation cannot be offered because this depends to a large extent on existing national capacities and local opportunities.


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