Psychosocial Support


Helen has been providing psychosocial support services to communities in humanitarian settings and conflict affected countries since 2011. Working in partnership with humanitarian organisations. Check out some of the psychosocial projects i have worked on here.

I can help your organisation design a psychosocial project that is safe, appropriate, meaningful and has long lasting benefits for the community.

Psychosocial Support FAQ’s

What is Psychosocial Support?

Psychosocial support (PSS) seeks to build resilience, and internal and external resources for children and communities to cope with adversity. It takes a holistic approach addressing and individual’s mental, emotional, social and spiritual needs. it focuses on enhancing existing support structures within a community wherever possible.

Why is psychosocial support important in conflict areas?

Psychosocial Support (PSS) as a specialism as there is a recognition that people need to be at the ‘center of programming’ for the most sustainable results.

To put people at the center means we need to take into account not only their material and physical wellbeing but also their mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing (psycho). We need to take into account not only individuals as though they exist in isolation, but also of people in their social world of family and community (social).

The community provides a context, and environment to support individuals and families to function well, and is a key resource for an affected population. In emergencies and conflict situations people’s lives are massively disrupted; normal routines, roles, and support systems are stretched and    sometimes    break    down    altogether. Displacement and loss are common place, and families are often separated.

Children and people previously protected within the family and community networks are now vulnerable and exposed. A knock on effect to this breakdown and displacement is the inability for people to access services, including spiritual and cultural practices which previously may have provided meaning in life as well as an invaluable support mechanism.





How do people react in crisis situations?

In any kind of emergency situation whether it be natural disaster, or ‘man- made’ crisis people react. Everyone reacts in one way or another, but how people react and the severity of the reaction differs. Some people react briefly and then return to ‘normal’ others have a delayed response, and others have on going symptoms. The kind of reactions that people have also vary from culture to culture.

Many people will have reactions that disappear over time without any additional emotional support apart from that provided by family and friends, as long as they have access to their basic needs and security. However, many will need additional emotional and social support. And even those who do not need extra support, if their basic needs and security are being met by humanitarian actors, how these services are delivered can have a great impact on the affected population. In this way, psycho-social considerations should be integrated into humanitarian activities across the board.

What are the aims of psychosocial support?

Psychosocial Support recognises the strengths of individuals to recover from very challenging experiences. It seeks not to undermine in any way the natural ability and strength people have to cope, but to help build on those natural coping mechanisms and resilience in the face of adversity. It seeks to help people achieve wellbeing in all aspects of their life and to return to a sense of normal participation and functioning. Psychosocial Support further supports people to help prevent medium and long term mental health disorders, and to strengthen family and community structures    as    much    as    possible    during emergencies.

What are the main guidelines for psychosocial support?

“Helen’s work for DCA in the psychosocial realm has proven to be of consistently high quality and she has responded to different tasks with enthusiasm, dedication, and a solid understanding not only of the field of psychosocial support but also of DCA’s competencies and wishes for the work. Helen has and continues to be, a highly valued resource person for DCA.’

Signe Normose Head of Support DCA Humanitarian Mine Action

Psychosocial Assessments

Psychosocial Support

Capacity Development

Psychosocial Support

Psychosocial Toolkits

Psychosocial Support

Psychosocial Support Projects

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