International Rescue Committee, 2008
The goal of this multimedia educational program is to improve clinical care for and general treatment
of sexual assault survivors by providing medical instruction and encouraging competent, compassionate,
The program is intended for both clinical care providers and non-clinician health facility staff. It is
designed to be delivered in a group setting with facilitators guiding participants through the material and
directing discussions and group participation as appropriate. It is divided into five sections:
1. What Every Clinic Worker Needs to Know
2. Responsibilities of Non-Medical Staff
3. Direct Patient Care
4. Preparing Your Clinic
5. Forensic Examination
World Health Organization (WHO), 2012
This WHO report shares detailed accounts from 10 diverse emergency-affected areas, each of which built better-quality and more sustainable mental health systems despite challenging circumstances. Cases originate from countries small to large; low to middle-income; across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East; and affected by large-scale natural disasters, prolonged conflict, and large-scale influxes of refugees. While their contexts varied considerably, all were able to convert short-term interest in population mental health into sustainable, long-term improvements.
This WHO report goes beyond aspirational recommendations by providing detailed descriptions of how mental health reform was accomplished in these situations. Importantly, case contributors report not only their major achievements, but also their most difficult challenges and how they were overcome. Key overlapping practices emerging from these experiences are also summarized.
This report provides the proof of concept that it is possible to build back better, no matter how weak the existing mental health system or how challenging the emergency situation. I call upon all readers to take steps to ensure that those faced with future emergencies do not miss the important opportunity for mental health reform and development.
– Dr Margaret Chan, former Director-General WHO
Executive summary available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish here.
The Lancet Global Health, 2020
The Lancet Global Health‘s Nina Putnis speaks to Wietse Tol about his research on reducing psychological distress in female South Sudanese refugees, and the implications of this research for refugees and displaced people worldwide. Listen to the podcast below:
Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies: Guide to Developing a Field-Level Road Map
Women's Refugee Commission, Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility, UNFPA, 2019
The toolkit is designed for field-based colleagues interested in developing a Call to Action Road Map for their setting. Initially, the primary users will likely be Call to Action Advisors engaged to support the project and field-based colleagues from the global Call to Action partnership. As the project takes hold, the toolkit will be a useful guide for national and local Call to Action stakeholders. Call to Action global focal points can also use it as a resource to increase their support for field-based efforts and strengthen action and accountability under the Call to Action.
The toolkit is a step-by-step guide that walks the reader through the process of developing a fieldlevel Road Map. It includes resources for the drafting process and for implementation. We hope colleagues in other settings will also take up this effort. Partners should consider this toolkit a living document that can be updated to capture good practices as we continue to learn from one another.
World Health Organization (WHO), 2010
This report presents compelling evidence that people with mental health conditions meet major criteria for vulnerability. The report also describes how vulnerability can lead to poor mental health, and how mental health conditions are widespread yet largely unaddressed among groups identified as vulnerable. It argues that mental health should be included in sectoral and broader development strategies and plans, and that development stakeholders have important roles to play in ensuring that people with mental health conditions are recognized as a vulnerable group and are not excluded from development opportunities. The rec
PROBLEM MANAGEMENT PLUS (PM+): Individual psychological help for adults impaired by distress in communities exposed to adversity
World Health Organization, 2016
With this manual, the World Health Organization (WHO) is responding to requests from colleagues around the world who seek guidance on psychological interventions for people exposed to adversity.
The manual describes a scalable psychological intervention called Problem Management Plus (PM+) for adults impaired by distress in communities who are exposed to adversity. Aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) have been changed to make them feasible in communities that do not have many specialists. To ensure maximum use, the intervention is developed in such a way that it can help people with depression, anxiety and stress, whether or not exposure to adversity has caused these problems. It can be applied to improve aspects of mental health and psychosocial well-being no matter how severe people’s problems are.
The manual can be downloaded for free in 13 different languages here.
Mental health conditions in conflict situations are much more widespread than we thought: But there’s a lot we can do to support people
Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO, 2019
“Today, there is no shortage of countries in conflict. UN estimates suggest that in 2019, nearly 132 million people in 42 countries around the world will need humanitarian assistance resulting from conflict or disaster. Nearly 69 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by violence and conflict, the highest number since World War II.
Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to help them. Indeed, there’s a lot we are doing.
In 2019 WHO is addressing mental health in countries and territories with populations affected by large-scale emergencies across the world, in Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, among others.
In many countries in the world, ignorance about mental health and mental illness remains widespread. The uptake of mental health care during conflict and other emergencies, in countries where such support has been limited, can lead to the identification of people who are tied up, locked in cages, hidden from society. In many cases, it is this very support that helps dispel myths about mental illness and leads to treatment and care and a path towards a more dignified life.
We have also learned that, when the political will exists, emergencies can be catalysts for building quality mental health services”, Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO
Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, 2019
This report gathers expert analysis from a broad cross-section of stakeholders who are committed to bringing this unacceptable situation to an end. It draws out common findings and perspectives that demonstrate increasing cohesion in the action taken across regions to end violence against children. It shows how people the world over are stepping up to prevent and respond to violence and to protect children from its impact. In addition this report demonstrates that success breeds success and there has been real momentum since the 2015 adoption of the 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, this report asks a key question: if the costs of inaction are so high and the solutions are known, why does violence against children continue to take place? What must we do to move better, faster and further in our urgent quest to bring it to an end? We hope that this report, by recognizing progress made, demonstrating what is needed and highlighting what can be done, will chart a course for accelerated action and for an ever-growing movement to end the scourge of violence.
United Nations, 2019
“Conflict-related sexual violence is now widely recognized as a war crime that is preventable and punishable. The United Nations Security Council has played an important role in the past decade
by passing successive resolutions that emphasize accountability for perpetrators and services for survivors.”
– United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
action plans armed conflict gender based violence human rights impunity reparations sexual violence Afghanistan Bosnia and Herzegovina Burundi Central African Republic Colombia Côte d'Ivoire Democratic Republic of the Congo Iraq Libya Mali Myanmar Nepal Nigeria Somalia South Sudan Sri Lanka Sudan (Darfur) Syrian Arab Republic Yemen
Scottish Human Rights Commission, 2018
This tool is based on the PANEL principles (Participation, Accountability, Nondiscrimination, Empowerment and Legality) which form the basis of a human rights based approach. It is intended to help organisations assess their work and identify priorities for improvement towards embedding a human rights based approach.