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Assessing Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs and Resources: Toolkit for humanitarian settings

This document provides an approach and a toolkit to help those designing and conducting an assessment of mental health and psychosocial needs and resources in major humanitarian crises. These could include major natural and human-made disasters and complex emergencies (for example armed conflicts). Although it is written primarily for public health agencies, many of the tools can benefit staff working in other sectors.

The IASC (2007) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, one of the core documents for this toolkit, suggest topics that should be covered in assessments of mental health and psychosocial issues. However, these guidelines do not offer guidance on how to collect the data or what information is typically needed for what health-sector actions. This document is intended to help fill these gaps.

There is no ‘one assessment that fits all’. This document is not a cookbook. Rather, it provides a toolkit and an approach to selecting the right tools. The tools selected can and should be adapted within each assessment project and specific situation, depending on what the assessment is intended to achieve.

Published 2015-08-10

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