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TCSPP Alumni Speaker Series: Best practices in mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian emergencies

February 16, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CST

TCSPP Alumni Speaker Series:

Best practices in mental health and psychosocial support in

humanitarian emergencies

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

2:00pm-3:00pm CT

Presented by: Sonali Gupta, Psy.D.

Register here.

Humanitarian emergencies, both acute and complex, not only elicit psychological stress reactions, but research indicates that the rate of common mental disorders can increase from 10% to between 15 and 20% of the population. In addition, individuals with pre-existing severe mental disorders, typically 2-3% of the population, are especially vulnerable in such settings, often having no access to care. Humanitarian actors recognize the need for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services in such contexts, which has resulted not only in a growing body of frameworks and best practice guidelines to inform the development and implementation of MHPSS programming, but also in evidence based interventions that meet the specific constraints and MHPSS needs of populations impacted by humanitarian emergencies.

This webinar will start by defining the terms humanitarian emergency and MHPSS in order for participants to have a shared understanding of these key terms. Thereafter, participants will be provided with data on the impact of humanitarian emergencies on mental health and two models (one developed by the World Health Organization and a second by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee) describing the organization of mental health services within humanitarian settings will be introduced. Finally, the presentation will review best practices in the development and implementation of MHPSS interventions based on public mental health and community psychology and the body of frameworks, guidance documents and evidence-based interventions developed specifically for MHPSS initiatives in humanitarian settings.

This session, when attended in its entirety, offer 1.0 continuing education credit for psychologists.

Dr. Sonali Gupta is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in trauma and global mental health. Her clinical work has focused on survivors of interpersonal trauma and human rights violations, including victims of human trafficking, state sanctioned torture, and gender-based violence as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

Since 2006, Dr. Gupta has provided technical assistance to international organizations working in (post) conflict and (post) disaster contexts in the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and Eurasia regions on their mental health and psychosocial programming. In this capacity, Dr. Gupta has carried out assessments of health systems and situational analyses, designed programming and guided program implementation, engaged in capacity building through training and by advising on health systems strengthening initiatives and developed and implemented staff wellbeing initiatives tailored to humanitarian contexts. Dr. Gupta served as a consultant to the United Nations’ system wide staff wellbeing initiative and to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group’s subgroup on suicide prevention in humanitarian settings. Dr. Gupta currently serves as a mental health clinical advisor at The Center for Victims of Torture where she provides technical support to the organization’s mental health and psychosocial support program in Jordan.


February 16, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CST