Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has worked worldwide in acute emergency situations, providing mental health services and psychosocial interventions to those affected by chronic or complex emergencies. Based on these experiences, MSF has published a new manual titled Psychosocial and Mental Health Interventions in Areas of Mass Violence.
Although the guidelines focus on manmade disasters, the principles have proved to be just as effective in the context of natural disasters. The manual is useful for those in coordination positions (medical and management) to strategize, plan and supervise a psychosocial or mental health program component. Nevertheless, others interested in psychological interventions related to conflicts can also use the manual. However, it is not intended to serve as a handbook for counseling or psychotherapy. The manual is divided into three parts. The first examines general concepts about trauma and its consequences and the need for mental health programs. The second part looks at programming psychosocial interventions, and the final section covers assessment, planning, monitoring and training.