133 beyond this participatory needs assessments may

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133 Beyond this, participatory needs assessments may capture MHPSS needs and inform intervention design, a process that was described as effective by UNHCR staff in contexts such as Syria, Costa Rica, and Nepal. Moreover, some MHPSS activities have emerged from specific needs assessments, usually led by implementing partners or UNHCR consultants. More work is needed to ascertain the effectiveness of participatory assessments for capturing MHPSS needs, especially the degree to which prevalence of common mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can be detected using current approaches. It is encouraging to see UNHCR’s recent co-publication (with the WHO) of a toolkit of MHPSS assessment methods in humanitarian settings. 134 This resource should be a first step towards developing a series of simple and rapid measures that can be integrated into assessment, monitoring and evaluation, while also engaging in more in-depth and rigorous evaluations of program outcomes and impacts through collaborations with researchers. In terms of monitoring of current MHPSS activities, Focus – under which country operations select specific objectives with measurable indicators – is UNHCR’s primary method of capturing programs. Many objectives listed in Focus are highly relevant to MHPSS, including “Services for persons with specific needs” (which includes number of persons counselled as its associated performance clinics for refugees funded for UNHCR. In other health-care settings, UNHCR is reliant on data obtained from the national Ministry of Health. 133 The HIS has case definitions for and collects data on: epilepsy/ seizures; alcohol and other substance use disorder; mental retardation/ intellectual disability; psychotic disorders; severe emotional disorder; medical unexplained somatic complaint; and other disorders. 134 UNHCR & WHO (2012). UNHCR staff approach the remote river village of Inbargyi by boat in Myanmar's Rakhine state.The field staff make regular trips to these remote communities to inspect the conditions in which the people are living in and try to assess their needs.Most of the Rohyinga villages along the river have been badly damaged in the recent conflict in Oct 2012. © UNHCR / P. Behan / Dec 7 2012 60 UNHCR’S MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT FOR PERSONS OF CONCERN
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indicator), as well as objectives focused on quality of reception conditions (including provision of psychosocial assistance), SGBV response (specifically focusing on counselling), targeted programs for adolescents, psychiatric services within the health system, and a range of self-reliance and livelihoods activities that could have psychosocial components. This indicates the scope of MHPSS activities in which UNHCR is already involved, as described in Section II. Yet, this also indicates the challenge inherent in the fact that objectives, outputs, and performance indicators for MHPSS activities are dispersed under a range of categories within Focus, and, moreover, are not primarily understood as MHPSS activities. As such, the focus and quality of MHPSS activities could be
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  • Fall '19
  • Humanitarian aid, psychosocial support

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