Psychosocial problems and mental disorders can increase in disasters and emergencies. Experienced situations, uncertainty and related stressful circumstances put people at greater risk of suffering. Psychosocial support not only involves care by the health services, but also requires support through coordination of all agents providing services; the design of an adequate comprehensive Psychosocial care plan is indispensable to provide necessary assistance to any type of event.

Mental health services may be scarce at the local level, as a consequence is hard to implement an appropriate response. Population displacement to shelters creates dispersion of families and difficulty in receiving timely humanitarian assistance. In these situations, Primary Health Care (PHC) services or those health teams that act as the first line of contact with the population, must increase their skills for the identification and management of mental health conditions and offer psychosocial support.

Different guides and documents have been created by expert groups to update evidence-based knowledge and make available to health personnel involved in responses in emergencies, disasters, outbreaks and epidemics.

Mental Health 

The following guidelines are only available in Spanish 

Mental Health in Zika 


Health Emergencies Department

Tel: (202) 974-3434

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