Implemented within schools and learning spaces are

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implemented within schools and learning spaces – are activities that fit within the framework of 115 UNHCR (2012). 116 UNHCR (2012b). 50 UNHCR’S MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT FOR PERSONS OF CONCERN
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MHPSS interventions. Connections with MHPSS approaches, in particular, the Intervention Pyramid, include recognition of schools as “important sites through which to identify children at risk of abuse, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced recruitment, for example, and to connect them to appropriate services.” This suggests opportunities for utilising schools as mechanisms for identification of protection risks. Moreover, this suggests the potential to leverage investment in education and activities within the education sector to create, enhance and strengthen referral mechanisms for children who require more specialised services to address psychosocial distress. As such, education activities and frameworks within UNHCR that provide a strong basis for MHPSS activities, however, could be framed more explicitly as linked to the broader MHPSS framework and linked to the Intervention Pyramid. Moreover, some of the education sector activities that were less commonly reported in the survey – for example, training for teachers on awareness of psychosocial issues, including recognising psychological distress [32%], in-school support for students experiencing psychosocial and mental health difficulties (25%), and support groups for teachers (16%) – have the potential to significantly improve children’s psychosocial well-being through simple and straightforward interventions in formal and non-formal education contexts. TEXTBOX 11 Alcohol and substance-use There are a number of central issues relevant to MHPSS that have received considerably less attention, both in terms of research efforts and implementation of interventions in the field. One specific area is that of alcohol and other substance-use. The role of alcohol and other substance-use and its association with trauma, stress and ongoing psychosocial problems is well-established, however, limited research has focused on the issue of alcohol and substance- use in humanitarian settings. Ezard et al., using rapid qualitative methods to assess alcohol and substance use in settings of protracted displacement in Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, Iran, Pakistan and Thailand, found that alcohol and substance-use was commonly linked to stressors associated with displacement, such as lack of livelihood opportunities and widespread poverty, and perceived as causing gender-based violence and other social problems, as well as linked to risky sexual behaviours. 117 Recent research has identified the role of alcohol and substance- use as a result of ongoing stress, leading to domestic violence and child abuse in post-conflict settings in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka 118 or associated with suicide and suicide attempts in refugee camps in Nepal.
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  • Fall '19
  • Humanitarian aid, psychosocial support

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