Whilst many or most mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) activities in humanitarian, development and peace building contexts are implemented in community-settings, the term Community-Based MHPSS (CB-MHPSS) is defined by the IASC MHPSS Reference Group (2019) as describing an approach that is, “based on the understanding that communities can be drivers for their own care and change and should be meaningfully involved in all stages of MHPSS responses,” and that they are treated as, “active participants in improving individual and collective well-being, rather than as passive recipients of services that are designed for them by others.”
Whilst CB-MHPSS approaches have been recognised as part of humanitarian response since the 1990s, in recent years that there has been a renewed emphasis on reviving CB-MHPSS approaches within the mainstream of the MHPSS field, to complement other types of MHPSS intervention. The IASC MHPSS Reference Group published ‘Community-Based Approaches to MHPSS Programmes: A Guidance Note’ in 2019 to highlight the importance of community-based approaches for encouraging recovery and resilience, and for contributing to restoring and/or strengthening collective structures and systems essential to daily life and well-being.
Through sharing key resources such as guidelines, manuals and tools relevant to practitioners, it is hoped that this toolkit will help to support the practice of CB-MHPSS in contexts across the humanitarian-peace-development nexus.
To aid navigation, each resource in the Toolkit has been categorised by type:
- Guidance/Standard: resources that provide information about agreed interagency standards and advice about implementing these, or give expert guidance about a specific topic related to CB-MHPSS, or about implementation through the programme cycle.
- Manuals: resources providing step-by-step directions on implementation and/or key aspects of practice for practitioners.
- Academic/Research Publication: research or scientific publications (including grey literature) that is relevant to the CB-MHPSS field.
- Case studies and examples: resources that describe a particular example of CB-MHPSS or practical implementation within various contexts.
- Monitoring and evaluation tools: resources providing guidance, methods or tools for the monitoring and evaluation of CB-MHPSS programmes or MHPSS in general.
- Training resources: different types of training materials such as training manuals, toolkits, resources for conducting training programmes or online courses.
- Assessment tools: resources providing guidance, methods or tools for the assessment of MHPSS needs, context and available community resources.