Textbox 3 mhpss approach vs mhpss interventions a

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TEXTBOX 3 MHPSS approach vs. MHPSS interventions – a definition The distinction between a MHPSS approach and a MHPSS intervention is a useful framework for thinking about the ways in which UNHCR can engage with and adopt MHPSS activities in an integrated and systematic manner. The distinction between a MHPSS approach and a MHPSS intervention is drawn from Terre des Hommes’ useful framing of psychosocial issues, and its experience integrating psychosocial programming across the organisation. Terre des Hommes has adopted a framework that highlights the distinction between a psychosocial approach and a psychosocial intervention , demonstrating potential for integrating a psychosocial approach into a range of activities. A psychosocial approach is defined as “a way to engage with and analyse a situation, build and intervention, and provide a response, taking into account both psychological and social elements, as well as their interrelation.” A psychosocial intervention is defined as “composed of one or several activities that aims to increase the coping capacity of children, families and communities, and to reinforce their integration within society.” 24 As such, a psychosocial approach (which is in line with many good humanitarian practices described throughout the Sphere Handbook) can be integrated into any program, and is a way of approaching all components of the program, which has primary objectives in the realm of any sector (e.g. nutrition, shelter, etc). A psychosocial approach, integrated into another program, may ensure that the program also protects dignity and improves psychosocial well-being, as well as achieving its primary objectives – for example, proper nutrition and shelter. A psychosocial intervention, in contrast, is a program whose primary objective is to improve psychosocial well-being (e.g., group counselling). The terms MHPSS approach and MHPSS intervention are used in the place of psychosocial approach and psychosocial intervention in this review, to emphasise the need to promote integrated mental health and psychosocial programming within UNHCR. A MHPSS approach is grounded in the principles found in the IASC Guidelines. The distinction between a MHPSS approach and MHPSS interventions brings to light the numerous ways in which UNHCR can engage with MHPSS activities, across multiple sectors. Integration of a MHPSS approach within existing programs may strengthen them, improve quality and maximise the positive impact of a range of interventions, including water and sanitation, shelter, nutrition and education. However, there are some limitations to this way of engaging with MHPSS 23 Williamson & Robinson (2006). 24 Terre des Hommes (2010). 19 A Global Review
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activities. A salient analogy can be made to that of the role of gender in the humanitarian sector: advocates support the idea of mainstreaming gender concerns, but also recognise the importance of separate programs focused on women’s empowerment or protection. The humanitarian sector
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  • Fall '19
  • Humanitarian aid, psychosocial support

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