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About the event

This webinar was hosted in partnership with on ‘Setting Priorities for a 10-year Research Agenda for MHPSS Humanitarian Response’.

To address the need for more evidence of what works to support mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming in humanitarian settings, a priority research agenda taking us to 2030 has been developed by key MHPSS stakeholders. The result is a list of 20 most critical research questions to support MHPSS response. We shared these results with a community of practice at a webinar on 17 January 2023.

The priority setting was conducted in collaboration with a wide range of MHPSS experts and a rigorous methodology was used to identify priority research questions. Supported and endorsed by the IASC Reference Group on MHPSS in Emergency Settings, it was conducted by HealthRight International and funded by Elrha’s Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme.

The prioritisation was steered by a Funding and Policy Council comprising funders and policy leaders in the field of MHPSS, and a Scientific Practice and Advisory Board guided the methodology. Consultation on research priorities took place with MHPSS practitioners, policy makers, and researchers across the globe and included local consultations in three different humanitarian settings.

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Meet the speakers

Carmen Valle-Trabadelo

Carmen is a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Advisor working with IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support as Co-Chair of the IASC Reference Group for MHPSS in emergencies. Carmen is a psychologist with 20 years’ experience in mental health. In the past, she worked in academia and directing specialised services. In 2011, she transitioned to development and humanitarian work. Since then, she has worked as national, regional and global technical advisor for CBM Global, The MHPSS Collaborative/Save the Children, and WHO, supporting more than 20 countries across Africa, Asia and America, as well as several global initiatives.

Wietse A. Tol

Wietse is Professor of Global Mental Health at the Section of Global Health, Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen; Endowed Professor of Global Mental Health and Social Justice at the VU University Amsterdam; Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Senior Advisor with HealthRight International. He holds an MA in Clinical and Health Psychology and a Ph.D. in Public Mental Health. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. His research and practice focus on mental health and psychosocial support interventions for adversity-affected populations in low- and middle-income countries. In particular, his work centers on (integrated) interventions that address mental health and the social determinants of mental health, and he is very interested in understanding how research can lead to improved practice (and vice versa).

PhuongThao (PT) Le

PT is a Research Scientist at New York University School of Global Public Health. Her research focuses on evidence-based, culturally appropriate, and community-based approaches to alleviate the mental health burden among vulnerable and marginalised populations. She is currently PI of several studies on mental health and psychosocial support among cancer patients in Viet Nam, including a Fogarty/NIH K01 project to adapt and pilot an evidence-based stress management intervention (Self-help Plus) among Vietnamese breast cancer patients.  She also works on various implementation studies on task-sharing mental health interventions in other low and middle-income countries.

Sarah Harrison

Sarah is Head of the MHPSS Advisors Unit at the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support in Copenhagen, Denmark. She leads a team providing capacity-building, technical support and humanitarian diplomacy advice to 192 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies to implement mental health, psychological and social care services in accordance with their auxiliary role.  Between 2016 – 2020, she was the IFRC Co-Chair of the IASC Reference Group on mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings.  Sarah has worked for multiple humanitarian organizations, including the IFRC, UNHCR, Action Aid International, International Medical Corps and the ACT Alliance network in various humanitarian contexts since 2007. She has authored/co-authored academic articles and book chapters, and teaches Masters level students at two Universities. She is a Psychologist with two Masters’ degrees from the University of St. Andrews and Uppsala University, and a human rights diploma from the University of Oxford. 

Chair: Ananda Galappatti

Ananda is a medical anthropologist and a practitioner in the field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in situations of humanitarian crisis, post-conflict recovery and other situations of adversity. His work over the past 25 years has been concerned with improving access to knowledge and skills, building collaborative networks and enhancing coherence within the field in Sri Lanka and also globally. Ananda is a co-Director of the online platform.

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