This handbook is for psychosocial practitioners who are planning a psychosocial intervention in response to a crisis or critical event. It is specifically targeted at practitioners working for Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies. However, most of the suggestions and recommendations presented are relevant to all stakeholders working in the field of psychosocial support.

This handbook is the result of extensive review of psychosocial interventions with particular focus on the lessons learned from the psychosocial response to the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.

This handbook pays particular attention to the response phases that follow a crisis. A crisis is understood as one critical event or series of events that leads to major changes in the lives of the affected. It can be due to natural disasters (such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones etc) and man-made events, (conflicts, population displacements, large-scale accidents etc). A disaster is understood as “a severe disruption, ecological and psychological which greatly exceeds the coping capacity of the individual” (WHO, 1992).

It is also relevant for planning and implementing responses to ongoing crises, such as continuing conflicts; health emergencies such as the HIV pandemic; environmental challenges, such as persistent droughts; and economic or political challenges that influence psychological and social well-being.


This handbook contains:

  • Setting the context
  • Assessment
  • Planning and implementation
  • Training
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Usage: Guidance to implementation

Audience: Psychosocial practitioners

Document Data

Publication date:
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 11
Country: Global
Theme(s): Health
Resource type: Guidelines

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