In May 2021 we hosted an online Learning Event which explored the intersections between Humanitarian Shelter and Mental Health. The first session, on May 20th, explored WHY humanitarian Shelter and Settlements practitioners should understand the connections between living conditions, physical and mental health better. Case studies from CARE, CRS, NRC, ARCHIVE Global and IOM illustrated some of these connections. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) experts led discussions on the importance of MHPSS as a cross cutting issue. The second session, on May 28th, delved deeper into HOW Shelter and Settlements practitioners can adopt an MHPSS approach in their programming, with the aim of improving wellbeing.
Shelter and MHPSS practitioners reflected together on possible next steps for more holistic and integrated Shelter and Settlements programming which supports people's mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.
Mindful Sheltering is the report of the Learning Event. Read below to find out more!
There was this kind of moment, there was a critical takeaway that resonated across the Zoom experience, and it was when we realised that the living and shelter conditions during displacement have a comparable impact than the trigger of a crisis or a disaster.
I think something that came very strongly out of the meetings and that the report also highlights is that the shelter colleagues are already doing a lot of mental health and psychosocial support by providing those conditions when it's possible ...
Mindful Sheltering explores the connections between living conditions and mental health and psychosocial well-being includes summaries of presentations by experts in Shelter and Settlements programming, MHPSS and development. It also examines how humanitarian Shelter and Settlements assistance impacts mental health and well-being and the importance of healthy shelter for long-term recovery. Mindful Sheltering highlights that a person’s mental health and psychosocial well-being is affected as much - or even more - by their living conditions as it is by their experiences of crisis and disaster. Shelter is a determinant of mental health and well-being in all emergencies; inadequate shelter is among the ‘daily stressors’ that contribute to mental distress for individuals and communities and is detrimental to early recovery and eventual development. Collaboration between Shelter and Settlements and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) as well as other humanitarian sectors is necessary to ensure positive outcomes for people recovering from humanitarian crises. The report contains recommendations to inform holistic humanitarian responses and ensure wide positive impacts of post-crisis rebuilding.
The Global Shelter Cluster now has a webpage dedicated to Shelter and Health. Visit this link to download Mindful Sheltering .
Read blog on why humanitarian action must promote safe and secure homes which protect mental health and well-being.
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