International Medical Corps published results of a recetly conducted rapid mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) needs assessment, which was aimed to provide an understanding of existing services, strengths and needs following the refugees, asylum seekers and migrants on the move in Serbia. The results will inform the program design of International Medical Corps’ (IMC) MHPSS initiatives to address existing gaps in services and supports.
The rapid MHPSS needs assessment was conducted by IMC’s MHPSS Consultant Marcio Gagliato from January 14th – 27th 2016. The assessment provides an overview of the scope and extent of the current refugee crisis with the particular focus on its impact in Serbia. The article concludes with several recommendations include:
- Improve coordination and mapping for mental health and psychological support services and activities, which includes: identifying an experienced specialist to lead MHPSS coordination group and supporting functioning and tasks of MHPSS coordination group;
- Support the development of a regional MHPSS coordination mechanism with the countries where there is a humanitarian response for the current crisis, which means strengthening regional level MHPSS response
- Improve the capacity of specialised and non-specialised front line workers to respond to mental health and psychological support needs of the refugees (including considerations on cultural and social aspects), in other words having a psychological first aid present and allow for social and cultural considerations, encourage self-case, provide information, education and communication materials as well as access to translation and interpreters
- Improving access to mental health services, including access to psychological medications, especially in transit sites, which requires a set-up of a referral system and process for specialised mental health case, provision of basic mental health case and mental health service guidance