1 addressing these issues in a systematic way in

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1 Addressing these issues in a systematic way, in collaboration and partnership with other agencies and implementing partners, should be a core component of humanitarian response. In various policies and approaches, UNHCR demonstrates recognition that it has a key role in protecting and improving well-being in providing its mandated activities and mental health and psychosocial programs need to emerge more prominently as component of implementing this unique mandate. Mental health and psychosocial issues may impact functioning . Functioning refers to the ability of an individual to complete daily tasks, including self-care, fulfil relevant social roles, as a member of a household, family and community, and take part in activities, including, for example, attending religious events and providing support for community members. 2 1 IASC (2007) 2 Bolton and Tang (2002). 11 A Global Review
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Mental health and psychosocial problems may affect functioning in a variety of ways – for example, an individual experiencing symptoms of depression such as lethargy, sleeplessness and loneliness may be less likely to take part in community activities, or a mother feeling frustrated, anxious and hopeless may be less likely to be able to perform important care practices for her child. Efforts to promote self-reliance and livelihoods may be undermined if individuals and families are less likely to engage in such activities due to unmet mental health and psychosocial needs. Therefore, it is evident that symptoms of mental health and psychosocial problems can significantly impact individual, family and communal well-being. Moreover, there is considerable overlap between protection, and mental health and psychosocial issues. Within the field of actors engaged with MHPSS activities, UNHCR is uniquely situated as an operational agency with primary responsibility for protection. Within core UNHCR policies, such as Age, Gender and Diversity mainstreaming [AGDM], protection is defined as including “physical security and restoration of human dignity,” entailing “supporting communities to rebuild their social structures, realise their rights and find durable solutions,” and constituted by “material, social, economic, political and legal dimensions.” 3 As such, provision of services to achieve mental and psychosocial well-being is a core protection activity. Moreover, in cases with protection concerns, such as sexual or gender-based violence [SGBV] or child abuse, individuals may have specific psychosocial needs that emerge from protection concerns. Protection activities – for example, family tracing for unaccompanied children – are undoubtedly linked with psychosocial outcomes. MHPSS activities are a way to prevent protection risks and promote community support for vulnerable individuals at risk.
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  • Fall '19
  • Humanitarian aid, psychosocial support

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