College response to international disasters
This page includes links to resources for use by psychiatrists who may be able to help others in relation to the unfolding crisis in Turkey/Syria and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and Pakistan.
The RCPsych has built up a body of knowledge from the response it has provided to a number of international emergencies. Humanitarian emergencies are caused by a number of factors, including natural disasters, political upheaval and acts of violence. When responding to an international disaster the College will work in ways that are respectful of the peoples and culture of regions and nations in which we are working, and our work will respect the needs of patients and always be person-centred.
The RCPsych will put in place an emergency response plan when the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launches an appeal.
Those who can are invited to donate money to Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).
Members of our International Advisory Committee (IAC) are in contact with national and international agencies to ascertain what practical support the College can offer, many have responded and the College is working with them to deliver psychological first aid (PFA) training.
The College is grateful to the many members who have offered to help.
Where There Is No Psychiatrist by Vikram Patel is a mental health care manual written for community health workers, primary care nurses, social workers and primary care doctors, particularly in low-resource settings.
This guide gives the reader a basic understanding of mental illness by describing more than thirty clinical problems associated with mental illness and uses a problem-solving approach to guide the reader through their assessment and management.
The world faces an unprecedented number of humanitarian emergencies. The conflict in Ukraine and flooding in Pakistan are both crises requiring global humanitarian assistance.
This eLearning module will help psychiatrists have a better understanding of their role in complex emergencies, in keeping with international guidelines.
This module is available free of charge to members and non members.
eLearning Hub: Complex humanitarian emergencies: mental health and psychosocial response
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) was created by United Nations General Assembly in 1991 and is the longest-standing and highest-level humanitarian coordination forum.
The IASC have created internationally recognised Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
The conditions refugees experience during their journeys and how they're received at their destinations will determine their health outcomes as well as the health of those living in host communities. To support health professionals and humanitarians, CRC Press is offering free online access to the Handbook of Refugee Health. This book provides a framework to identify and approach health needs, from basic elements like service mapping and initial interventions to more complex elements of ongoing healthcare. It also discusses associated areas, including human rights and law, public health, medical anthropology, and cultural awareness.
Handbook of Refugee Health for healthcare professionals and humanitarians providing care to forced migrants
General Principles of Psychological First Aid webinar – 30 March 2022
Dr Peter Hughes FRCPsych and Vitalii Klymchuk, Community Mental Health Services Coordinator at MH4U, presented an overview of the principles of PFA and its application in crisis settings.
Free Members Webinar – 27 May 2021
On 27 May 2021, we delivered a webinar on the principles and practice of Psychological First Aid.
This webinar focussed on the devastating effect of COVID-19 in India and the wider South Asian region but the principles discussed apply to all humanitarian crises
Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers
This guide covers psychological first aid which involves humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings suffering serious crisis events. It is written for people in a position to help others who have experienced an extremely distressing event. It gives a framework for supporting people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities.
Translations are available amongst many others in Ukrainian, Romanian, Russian, and Serbian.
Information in English
Our information is written by doctors in collaboration with patients and carers. It is checked by patients and carers to make sure it is clear and easy to understand. Information on other problems and disorders can be found in the mental health section of our website.
We are able to provide translations of our resources thanks to the work of volunteers, who have been passionate about making sure that our information is available in a range of languages.
Information in Arabic
- التأقلم بعد حدث صادم Coping after a traumatic event
Information in Kurdish
- Mijûlbûna piştî bûyerekê trawmatîk Coping after a traumatic event
Information in Russian
- Как справляться с последствиями пережитых психотравмирующих событий - coping after a traumatic event
- Посттравматическое стрессовое расстройство (ПТСР) - post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Information in Turkish
- Travmatik bir olayla başa çıkma Coping after a traumatic event
Information in Ukrainian
- Подолання наслідків травмуючої події - coping after a traumatic event
- Посттравматичний стресовий розлад (ПТСР) - post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Information in Urdu
Information in Sindhu
RCPsych mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide Webinar – 5 April 2022
Dr Peter Hughes FRCPsych and Vitalii Klymchuk, Community Mental Health Services Coordinator at MH4U, presented an overview of the WHO’s mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide, which is a mental health toolkit designed for emergency settings.
The Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have gathered together a range of information for the general public, for professionals who work with children and for specialist clinicians which can be viewed below.
Information for children and young people about the war in Ukraine
- Office of the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland: When the news is scary, you still have power – Advice for children and young people on what can be done to help make sense of what is happening in Ukraine.
How to talk to children and young people about war
- Education Scotland: Conflict and War – Advice and resources on discussing war and conflict with children and young people.
- Barnardo’s: Talking to children about war – Guidance for parents and carers.
- Parentzone: Helping your child cope with media coverage of traumatic events.
Information for parents, carers and professionals about trauma
- MindEd: Trauma and coping resource.
- The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH): Trauma Topic Guide.
Supporting children and families affected by war and displacement
- Anna Freud Centre: Advice, guidance and resources for parents and carers – Supporting a child or young person who may be struggling with poor mental health.
- YoungMinds: Resources on supporting the mental health needs of asylum seeking and refugee children.
- Child Mind Institute: Multi-lingual resources – Including in English and Ukrainian – for parents and families about talking to children and young people about potentially traumatic events.
- Barnardo’s: Ukraine support line – Offers free counselling with Ukrainian/Russian speaking therapists and interpreters. People fleeing Ukraine are encouraged to contact the team directly to refer themselves by calling: 0800 148 8586/ or via the website.
- NHS Education for Scotland: Transforming Psychological Trauma: A knowledge and skills framework for the Scottish workforce – Guidance on delivering quality, evidence-based trauma informed or trauma specific services to people affected by traumatic events.
- UNODC and the University of Manchester: Caring for children through conflict and displacement – Advice and guidance for parents who have lived through war and trauma on how they can help themselves feel better, and how they can help their children in difficult times.
- Changing the way we care: Critical Considerations for Movement of Children During a Humanitarian Crisis – Guidance for service providers who are working with children, families, and separated children in response to the current humanitarian situation in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
- The Alliance for Child Protection and Humanitarian Action: Resources to support those working with refugees from Ukraine.
- The Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network and NIDOS: Working with the unaccompanied child – Guidance on practices and working methods on the reception and protection of unaccompanied children in Europe.
- Information Resources on Psychological Assistance During the War – Information in Ukrainian for parents, children and specialists.
- University of Manchester and Irena Karpa: How to look after a child through conflict and displacement (Ukrainian audio recording)
Accessing other services for displaced children and families
- Department for Education: How do families arriving from Ukraine apply for a school place and childcare? Guidance on how families arriving from Ukraine apply for a school place and childcare.
- The Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights: Resources supporting Ukrainian children’s right to education – Guidance for parents, children and teachers on current web resources and portals to enable Ukrainian children to continue their education if they have been displaced.
- Refugee Employment Network: Employment support – A charity that ensures that refugees in the UK can access appropriate, fulfilling, paid employment or self-employment.
- Turn2Us: Benefits Calculator and Grants Search tools – A useful website to explain the benefits process.
- Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA): Support for Ukrainian children with SEND arriving in England.
- Micro Rainbow: Connecting UK sponsors with LGBTQI Ukrainian Nationals – Providing peer support, social inclusion activities, and support with employability.
Language support – Translation and interpreting
- Google Translate – A free service to support translation.
- Microsoft Translator – A free personal app to support translation.
- Tilde - A free app to support translation.
- Twinkl: Language resources for children – A free set of resources and activities for Ukrainian speaking children
- uTalk: Learn Ukrainian – A free App for English speakers to learn Ukrainian.
- uTalk: Learn English – A free App for Ukrainian speakers to learn other languages.
MHPSS.net is an online platform for people concerned with Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in situations of emergencies and adversity. Membership is free and open to the wide range of people and organisations engaged with mental health and psychosocial support.
The College Library provides access to eBooks including this volume. To access please use the eBooks tab in the journals and databases search to look for ' Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness Evaluation and Treatment'.