Not doing more, but doing differently: integrating a community based psychosocial approach into other sectors

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Abstract

A multi-layered approach to mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies includes the integration of psychosocial approaches into sectors with primary aims other than the enhancement of mental health and psychosocial support. This paper shares the experiences of Church of Sweden's psychosocial team in supporting its partner organisations (within the ACT Alliance) to integrate a community based psychosocial approach into programmes in sectors including: education, child protection, livelihoods, water and sanitation, and food security. Case studies are used to describe how mental health and psychosocial support core principles can assist organisations to integrate psychosocial approaches into a variety of programmes, and to demonstrate that this is more about working in a different way than about taking on additional tasks. The challenges associated with supporting organisations to integrate psychosocial approaches into their programmes are also outlined, and the need for research to evaluate the effectiveness of this type of approach is acknowledged.

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