The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) are launching a regional communication and awareness campaign on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in disaster management in the Caribbean.
Under the theme “Stronger Together”, the campaign aims to offer information and strategies to assist communities in the region in better coping with the psychological impact of adverse events before, during and after a disaster situation. It also aims to raise awareness to reduce the stigma about seeking mental health and psychosocial support.
A new regional communication and awareness campaign to enhance capacity for mental health and psychosocial support in disaster management in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean is highly prone to natural hazards, including seismic activity, hurricanes, landslides and floods. These events have resulted in lost lives, serious injuries and severe damage to housing and infrastructure. A single hurricane event can affect more than one island, and completely erase the gains of many years of productivity. As a result, these unpredictable hazards create disruption and have an ongoing impact on people’s lives - affecting their mental health and psychosocial well-being.
Although everyone is affected in some way by disaster events, there are a wide range of reactions and feelings that a person can experience. People may feel overwhelmed, confused or very uncertain about what is happening. They can also feel very fearful, anxious, numb or detached. People who feel safe, connected, calm and hopeful, have access to social, physical and emotional support and find ways to help themselves after a disaster, however, will be better able to recover long-term from mental health effects. Link to the campaign background material.
Listen to and download the radio jingles:
Download the graphic cards and share them in your networks with the messages suggested in the following social media toolkit
If you want to learn more about MHPSS and psychological first aid, check the following resources:
- Pan American Health Organization. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disaster Situations in the Caribbean
- Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group (IASC). Advocacy Package. IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disaster Management
- World Health Organization. Psychological First Aid: Guide for field workers
- World Health Organization. Building Back Better: Sustainable Mental Health Care After Emergencies
- World Health Organization. mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (mhGAP HIG)
- Sphere. The Sphere Handbook 2018