Humanitarian Health Action

IASC Guidelines on Mental health and Psychosocial support in emergency settings


The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) issues these Guidelines to enable humanitarian actors to plan, establish and coordinate a set of minimum multi-sectoral responses to protect and improve people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being in the midst of an emergency.

Populations affected by emergencies frequently experience enormous suffering. Humanitarian actors are increasingly active to protect and improve people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being during and after emergencies. A significant gap, however, has been the absence of a multi-sectoral, inter-agency framework that enables effective coordination, identifies useful practices, flags potentially harmful practices and clarifies how different approaches to mental health and psychosocial support complement one another.

The Guidelines offer essential advice on how to facilitate an integrated approach to address the most urgent mental health and psychosocial issues in emergency situations.

I would like to thank the members of the IASC Task Force on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings and specifically the Task Force co-chairs, WHO and InterAction, for achieving interagency consensus on minimum responses in this important area of humanitarian aid.

I call upon all those who are involved in humanitarian assistance to implement these Guidelines.

Kasidis Rochanakorn
Chair, Inter-Agency Standing Committee Working Group
Director, OCHA Geneva