How to Assess Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs and Resources in Emergency Settings

The WHO-UNHCR publication "Assessing Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs and Resources: Toolkit for Humanitarian Settings" was developed due to frequent requests from the field to advise on assessment. Although a range of assessment tools exist, what was missing was an overall approach that clarifies which tool to use for which purpose. This publication offers an approach that should help assessors review information that is already available and only collect new data that will be of practical use.

During the webinar, Drs Inka Weissbecker and Wietse A. Tol provided MHIN members with practical knowledge on how to use the toolkit and showcased a few examples and learned lessons from the field.

About the Guests

Inka WeissbeckerInka Weissbecker, Ph.D., MPH is the Global Mental Health and Psychosocial Advisor for the International Medical Corps (IMC). In this role, she provides remote and on-site technical oversight and support to IMC project countries in the areas of assessment, program design, project implementation, and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial programs, which include integrated health and nutrition projects n over 20 countries. She has completed field assignments in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Japan. Dr. Weissbecker has been a contributor to several global IASC and WHO guidelines and working groups. She has also served as an NGO representative of the International Union of Psychological Science to the United Nations (ECOSOC and DPI). Her academic credentials include a PhD in Clinical Psychology specializing in health and public sector psychology from the University of Louisville and University of South Florida as well as an MPH in Global Health and Population Studies from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Wietse A. Tol, Ph.D. is the Dr. Ali and Rose Kawi Assistant Professor at the Department of Mental Health of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Program Director of the Peter C. Alderman Foundation. His main interest concerns the interplay between science and practice, particularly around (preventive) mental health interventions for populations affected by adversity in low- and middle-income countries. He has conducted qualitative and quantitative research with violence-affected child and adult populations in Burundi, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, and Uganda. He regularly consults with United Nations and (international) non-governmental organizations with regard to needs assessment, capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation. His research has been published in the Lancet, JAMA, PLoS Medicine, Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, World Psychiatry, and Social Science & Medicine. In 2011, Dr. Tol was awarded the Chaim and Bela Danieli Young Professional Award by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Twitter: @wietsetol

Link to Video

How to Assess Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs and Resources in Emergency Settings


Related Resources

Reports referenced in the webinar:

If you'd like to learn more on how the WHO-UNHCR toolkit is being used, please refer to the following reports from the field:

Middle East
Humanitarian and conflict health
Training, education and capacity building
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