Living with the Times A mental health and psychosocial support toolkit for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

Living with the Times A mental health and psychosocial support toolkit for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

This toolkit includes posters with key messages for older adults on how to take care of their well-being and how they can provide support to those around them during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

The toolkit includes instructions for MHPSS facilitators on how to conduct guided conversations with older adults using these posters. The posters build upon the guidance chapter for older adults in the IASC Interim Briefing Note Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Aspects of COVID-19 Outbreak, and the IASC Guidance on Operational Considerations for Multisectoral Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programmes during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The production of this toolkit involved an iterative and participatory development process. The pilot- and field-testing phases included around 200 older adults aged between 60 and 90 years, from 51 countries, who informed the design and content of the product. The posters with the key messages require minimal reading skills, are culturally diverse and aim to engage older adults in conversations and activities.  The process was a unique inter-agency collaboration between experts from different disciplines, including dementia, MHPSS in humanitarian settings, and ageing and disability; overseen by an ad-hoc thematic working group on older adults.

Thank you sincerely, Katrin Seeher (WHO) and Stéfanie Freel (WHO) for facilitating the work of the thematic working group on older adults, preparing the document and facilitating the development of this Toolkit. A big thanks to Laure Garancher for her design work in the publication and her support during the development and testing phases. Thank you to the illustrator Wouzit who illustrated the wonderful posters. We also much appreciate all agencies with specific expertise in services for older adults, who informed the toolkit: International Federation on Ageing, Help Age International and Alzheimer’s Disease International. Thank you also to all those who helped to strengthen the final product during the field-testing stage. Thank you Sarah Harrison (IFRC), David Wilson, Ben Adams (CBM Global), Maya Bachet (WHO) for your consultations and edits throughout the development. And, of course, we are grateful for all older adults who guided and informed the production of this long-awaited resource.

This is the first ever interagency tool focusing on MHPSS of older adults and our aim is that it will be used by all COVID-19 and humanitarian responders to help treat the mental health and psychosocial well-being of older adults as a priority.

Special thanks to Isabelle De Muyser for her great support throughout the clearance process at the IASC Secretariat.

Click here to access the Guidance Note. 

Click here to access the  printable posters and the printing instructions. 

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