“The greatest need was to be listened to”: The importance of mental health and psychosocial support during COVID-19
Experiences and recommendations from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
Since the 2019 conference, the advent of COVID-19 has shaken the world and continues to have a massive impact on every aspect of people’s lives – including taking an immense toll on global mental health. The mental health and psychosocial implications are particularly acute for people already affected by humanitarian disasters, conflicts and other emergencies – with the virus adding an extraordinary extra layer of stress for people in already precarious situations.
This joint report collates seven case studies from IFRC and ICRC mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) activities around the world – to highlight how Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are treating the hidden wounds of the pandemic among the world’s most vulnerable communities. It also reiterates the important recommendations laid out in the resolution ‘Addressing mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies’, passed at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2019.
The report renews the movement’s call for integrated measures to address mental health and psychosocial needs within humanitarian response, alongside long-term investments in local and community-based mental health and psychosocial support capacity – more important than ever before during COVID-19.