Psychological first aid in humanitarian settings

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The World Health Organization has collaborated with the War Trauma Foundation and World Vision International to produce guidelines on providing psychological first aid to populations affected by humanitarian crises, such as earthquakes, extreme drought, or armed conflict.

The handbook, Psychological first aid: guide for field workers, is written for humanitarian workers who must quickly prepare to provide both social and psychological support in disaster settings. It explains basic principles of providing simple and practical assistance immediately after events that are extremely stressful for the affected population.

The guide was endorsed by 24 major humanitarian agencies and explains how to help people in ways that respect their dignity, culture, and abilities. It also focuses on helping humanitarian workers themselves, who experience high levels of stress in these settings. It emphasizes protection and support for children and adolescents, people with disabilities, and people at risk of discrimination or violence.

The English version of the handbook can be downloaded from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789241548205_eng.pdf

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