National Disaster Management Authority Government of India

Important Guidelines

National Disaster Management Guidelines on Psycho-social Support and Mental Health Services (PSSMHS) in Disasters

Ten important components of the guidelines

1. Integration of PSSMHS into various health programmes, NMHP, DMHP and evolving of legal instruments necessary for implementation of such policies under the guidance of National subcommittee on PSSMHS constituted by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW).

2. Development of skilled and competent human resource at all levels with the help of nodal institutions through standardized training practices.

3. Mainstreaming the knowledge about preventive and mitigation strategies for adverse psycho-social effects of disasters into education system. Training of Community level workers, NGOs and various professionals for providing PSSMHS in the aftermath of disasters.

4. Normalization of survivor’s psychological impact could be hastened by providing Psychosocial First Aid, subsequently psychosocial support in relief camps. Later provision of psycho-social support during rehabilitation and rebuilding phase would be integrated in to the overall community development interventions.

5. Research and development to develop effective intervention should focus on community needs, integration of professional referral system with existing community best practices, vulnerability and epidemiological factors that compounded the psycho-social impact on any emergency.

6. Systematic documentation, procedures to enhance community participation, elements of psycho-social support and mental health services in deliverables like relief, transportation, care of vulnerable groups, psycho-social first aid supported by adequate infrastructure will be undertaken as planned objectives.

7. Inclusion of PSSMHS in hospital disaster management planning, effective communication and networking, counselling session areas, pooling of resources amongst network of health care services and identification of all the critical issues in state / district health disaster management planning.

8. Identification of designated institutions for training under Disaster Mental Health Programme and models of Public-Private Participation will be developed, tested and practiced.

9. Long term management of mental health interventions will be undertaken through standardized and structured need assessment tools followed by scientific studies, evaluation and development of specific intervention modules thereupon

10. Adoption of international best practices,  provisions for special care to vulnerable groups, care to care givers, role of PSSMHS providers in all phases of disaster management cycle based on ’all hazard’ disaster management approach

Guidelines on Psycho-social Support and Mental Health Services (PSSMHS) in Disasters