Engagement of Protection Actors in MHPSS: The Need for Cross-Sectoral Cooperation


Engagement of protection actors in MHPSS: the need for cross-sectoral cooperation

Article by Sarah Harrison, William S Chemaly, Fahmy Hanna, Nancy Polutan-Teulières and Peter Ventevogel

Fostering the mental health and psychosocial well-being – within a comprehensive protective response – of people affected by humanitarian emergencies requires multi-sectoral action and coordination.

Many people living in areas affected by violence and conflict experience a negative impact on their mental health, and one in five develop a mental health condition, which is much higher than for populations not affected by conflict.¹ Affected people may require focused psychosocial support or clinical mental health and psychological services. First and foremost, however, affected people need supportive social networks and to have their basic needs and security met in ways that preserve their dignity and agency, and uphold their rights. Over the last decade, supporting the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of people affected by conflicts, disasters and public health emergencies has gained recognition as a vital part of the humanitarian response