UNICEF, United Nations Children's Fund
In order to strengthen its efforts to promote psychosocial support within educational programming in emergencies, UNICEF has developed these teacher-training materials to promote greater understanding of the impact of and effective responses to the psychosocial impact of emergencies on learners. This manual is grounded in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Taskforce (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (MHPSS), which outline appropriate minimum responses and standards for psychosocial support and mental health in emergencies (see Annex 1 for the relevant Action Sheets). In addition, this manual promotes the standards set forth in the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction.
Initial pilot sessions of the training have shown that maximum results are achieved when the approach to psychosocial support by teachers is mainstreamed into the school curriculum and extra-curricular activities. There may be significant relevance to school counsellors as well, though the materials may require some adaptation for their training. Providing exposure to the content for administrators and other school personnel helps to ensure acceptance and sustainability of the programme, as well as a consistency of approach throughout the school system. The materials are oriented towards experienced teachers who already possess strong teaching skills. Shortened or modified versions of the training should be developed to meet the differing needs and capabilities of education personnel other than skilled teachers.