Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing in Education: The Case to Integrate Core Actions and Interventions into Learning Environments
Exposure to adversity, particularly in early childhood, can lead to lifelong struggles with learning and adverse physical and mental health. Mental health promotion and prevention, care services and psychosocial approaches can play an important role in mitigating these adversities and improving a range of developmental outcomes for children – including learning, relational and social skills, and health and nutrition. This study explores effective mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming integrated within education in emergencies (EiE). Core actions developed through a participatory consultation with multisectoral actors are outlined to address the common challenges and barriers associated with MHPSS programming in emergency education. Targeted approaches, resources and case studies from humanitarian settings are highlighted and provide detail on how to address planning, coordination and implementation barriers to effective MHPSS integration. This study explores the social and psychological foundations of MHPSS programming in EiE and how caregivers, teachers and communities can meaningfully participate in creating safe and healing learning environments, forming the critical safety net for children’s wellbeing in situations of adversity.