PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES (PSSMHS)
Psycho-social Support in the context of disasters refers to comprehensive interventions aimed at addressing a wide range of psychosocial and mental health problems arising in the aftermath of disasters. These interventions help individuals, families and groups to build human capacities, restore social cohesion and infrastructure along with maintaining their independence, dignity and cultural integrity. Psycho-social support helps in reducing the level of actual and perceived stress and in preventing adverse psychological and social consequences amongst disaster-affected community.
Mental Health Services in disaster interventions are aimed at identification and management of stress related psychological signs and symptoms or mental disorders among disaster-affected persons and persons with pre-existing mental health problems. In addition, psycho-social support interventions are aimed at mental health and psychological well-being, promotion and prevention of psychological and psychiatric symptoms among disaster-affected community.
The Psycho-Social Support and Mental Health Services shall be considered as a continuum of the interventions as an important component of general health services in disaster situations. Psycho-social support will comprise of the general interventions related to the larger issues of promoting or protecting psycho-social well-being through relief work, meeting essential needs, restoring social relationships, enhancing coping capacities and promoting harmony among survivors. The mental health services will comprise of interventions aimed at prevention or treatment of psychological and psychiatric symptoms or disorders.
The overall goal of Psycho-Social Support and Mental Health Services is restoration of well-being of the disaster-affected community.