Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

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Conflict, disaster or displacement can disrupt access to shelter, economic opportunities, social support, food and clean water, health services and education. A unifying theme of that disruption is that it may threaten one’s psychological and social wellbeing due to fear and uncertainty, adverse and potentially traumatic experiences and a sense of loss across these domains. In order to bolster humanitarian response, a coordinated, multi-sectoral approach that integrates activities to address these threats to wellbeing is needed. Through the strategies outlined above, MHPSS services can be integrated into each of these sectors in a complementary, as opposed to competing, manner. To date, there are few examples documenting the implementation of integrated efforts; however, guidelines exist for a range of MHPSS activities specific to humanitarian settings that are accessible to non-specialised providers. Efforts to develop and evaluate potentially scalable interventions (i.e., interventions requiring fewer resources than traditional evidence-based mental health interventions) that may be prime candidates for integration into multi-sectoral programmes are also under way. At the very least, programmes should consider the social and psychological implications of what, how, when and to whom aid is delivered, and design activities in a way that promotes wellbeing for all beneficiaries in humanitarian settings.

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