Mental health and psychosocial support guidelines

This document was drafted with a psychosocial and community approach. Its main purpose is to detect and anticipate problems and strengths from a community perspective. It was designed as a tool that is easy for emergency response teams to use and implement. As a matter of priority, it is geared to primary health care teams and people, institutions, or organizations that work with these teams to provide emergency care and humanitarian assistance.

The main reference sources used in drafting these guidelines were the Practical Guide for Mental Health in Disaster Situations, published by PAHO/WHO in 2006, and the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, published by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in 2007.

Emergency and disaster simulations and drills

The guidelines regulate the organization, implementation, and evaluation of simulations and drills, and provide suggestions on the different uses for these exercises within the context of emergencies and disasters. The purpose of this tool is primarily, but not exclusively, to support health organizations in reviewing and modernizing their preparations for and responses to emergencies and disasters.

Evaluation of damages and analysis of health needs in disasters

This new edition of Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis in the Health Sector in Disaster Situations (DANA) analyzes the characteristics of the DANA and provides format models for collecting and assessing health information. The purpose is to base decision-making on good technical information that makes it possible to efficiently diagnose, prioritize, and plan interventions and solicit resources.

The publication emphasizes the organization of the health sector from the formation of an emergency operations committee to a health situation room--a structure that should be reproduced at the national, regional, and local levels.