Technical Note, Linking Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS): Practical Tools, Approaches and Case Studies

Technical Note, Linking Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS): Practical Tools, Approaches and Case Studies

The IASC Reference Group for MHPSS in Emergency Settings developed this Technical Note to assist humanitarian aid, development and disaster risk management organizations across sectors in integrating MHPSS with DRR perspectives and approaches. This Technical Note was informed by a global mapping exercise and literature review conducted in 2019, which identified case studies of best practices in integrating MHPSS and DRR with a specific focus on preparedness and recovery. It was also strengthened through a comprehensive consultation and peer review process was undertaken between 2019 and 2020 engaging IASC MHPSS RG Member Agencies, colleagues from UNDRR, and other DRR MHPSS experts’ from academia and the field. The document outlines the rationale, actions, indicators, tools and terminology to foster joint MHPSS-DRR integration and programming. Critical aspects of linking MHPSS and Climate Change and identifying existing best practices, including connecting with IASC key messages on Climate Change and Humanitarian Action, are also described. In order to strengthen its relevance and integration with important concepts and frameworks in the field, the note was also heavily informed by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, WHO’s Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (EDRM) Framework, and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) ‘s Words into Action (WiA) guidelines.

We greatly appreciate and thank Brandon Gray (WHO) for facilitating this note’s development, including conducting the review and mapping exercise, preparing the document and engaging in the consultation process within the DRR thematic group and with other partners to strengthen its content. We also greatly appreciate and thank Guillaume Biasse and Laure Garancher for their illustrations in and design of this publication. We also owe a huge thank you to Huda Qudsia (WHO), Jonathan Abrahams (WHO), Julian Eaton (CBM Global), Marcio Gagliato (, Anva Ratzon (IsraAid), Ananda Galappati (, Lennart Reifels (University of Melbourne), Lynne Jones, Inka Weissbecker (WHO), Zeinab Hijazi (UNICEF), Marcia Brophy (UNICEF), Ann Willhoite (UNICEF), Michelle Engels (MHPSS Collaborative), Georgina Campbell (IMC) and David Wilson who reviewed, consulted, and supported the development of this publication and also to all of the participants who engaged in the mapping exercise and in case studies of their work.
We hope this resource will act as an effective tool to add more focus on country work on preparedness for and recovery from emergencies and reducing the disasters risks to mental health and psychosocial well-being.

Click here to download the Technical Note. 


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