From earthquakes to terror attacks, natural and manmade disasters are wreaking havoc on societies worldwide. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) interventions are pivotal for the wellbeing of society in the wake of such events, and the European Commission is calling for stronger support mechanisms in this context. The EU-funded OPSIC (Operationalising psychosocial support in crisis) aimed to strengthen psychosocial support (PSS) after times of crisis and improve quality management in relation to the topic. It outlined current PSS practices to identify key points and gaps in order to compile guidelines and best practices under one comprehensive resource and render them more accessible to end users. The project’s overarching objective was to direct users to resources, guidelines and tools so as to support authorities in designing and implementing MHPSS programmes throughout the response cycle. This was achieved by preparing a user-friendly handbook with planning tools, complete with 51 action sheets, aimed at crisis managers, mental health professionals and all other relevant stakeholders. In addition, the project developed COMPASS, an interactive platform for practical MHPSS guidance in crisis management, reflecting a comprehensive online resource with tools and guidelines. This can be useful for professionals in the field, but also those affected by a crisis. The platform was beta-tested and improved with the aim of launching the product to the public. Once this happens, COMPASS will serve as an important support mechanism for crisis-hit communities, as well as a platform for knowledge exchange and discussions. By addressing the crucial component of psychosocial support in a crisis, the platform will no doubt help Europeans recover from such an event.
Psychosocial, crisis, mental health, OPSIC, PSS