Multistakeholder Pledge: Fostering Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing

Key outcome

Foster sustainable and equitable access to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and related services at affordable costs for all refugees and host communities.

Pledge description

Fostering mental health and psychosocial well-being: Systematically integrate mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in humanitarian, development and peace-building programmes, through policy changes towards inclusion, supported by financial, material and capacity strengthening, to foster access to quality services for refugees and host communities.

Commitments related to this multistakeholder pledge may include:

  • Law & policy. Changes in national legislative frameworks such as laws and policies around health, education, protection from gender-based violence (GBV), social welfare and community development. Pledges will also include elements of emergency preparedness and response to support States and non-state actors in preparing for mental health and psychosocial outcomes due to displacement-related emergencies in order to protect the mental health and psychosocial well-being of forcibly displaced and stateless people and host communities alike.
  • Programmes. Financial support to advance and enable sustainable inclusion in mental health system and social protection schemes including through innovative, flexible and predictable funding mechanisms; technical support to enable policy change; capacity building of personnel and volunteers, support to MHPSS service delivery in refugee hosting areas through infrastructure adjustments, human resources, survivor-centred approaches, etc; fostering work opportunities for accredited refugee MHPSS providers; community engagement and mobilization in MHPSS actions; expanding the use of mobile technologies for telemedicine. Linked measures to overcome barriers related to language and culture to effectively access services and supports for mental health and psychosocial support at local level. The expansion of civil society programmes for refugee- and host community-inclusive services to bridge gaps where national services are not fully available or accessible and in line with national legislation.
  • Data & evidence. To support evidence-informed planning, programming, monitoring and inclusive law and policy making through the provision of tools, expertise, and data disaggregated by age and gender to advance measurement and build the evidence-base related to refugees’ inclusion in national systems and improved outcomes related to mental health and psychosocial well-being for refugees and the communities hosting them.

It is expected that new and existing policies will be pre-matched by donors, international financial institutions, international organisations, UN, NGOs, academia and private sector with financial, technical or material support.

Background

Addressing the health of refugees, other forcibly displaced and stateless people has never been so important. More people than ever are forcibly displaced, and global health challenges are increasing as witnessed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is becoming more complex as conflicts persist and climate change impacts health and disease patterns. Good mental health is critical for every person to cope with the stresses of life, to realize their abilities, to learn well and work well, and to contribute to their communities.

Nevertheless, refugees, other forcibly displaced and stateless people often face inadequate access to and do not adequately benefit from culturally appropriate health services. Attending to their health and mental health needs is essential for their physical, social and mental well-being during all stages of life.

WHO and UNHCR jointly launched the Group of Friends of Health for Refugees and Host Communities in May 2023 comprised of States, refugees, private sector partners, NGOs, academia and international organisations to mobilise high quality, joint pledges and contributions to foster sustainable access to affordable, quality health services for refugees and host communities alike to achieve lasting change.

The Group of Friends Health has dedicated workstreams to advance the inclusion of refugees in national health systems and mental health and psychosocial support.

Leadership

  • European Commission
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Amal Alliance

Supported by UNHCR and WHO.

Contact details

Calendar

  • 22 March 2024 - Group of Friends of Health for Refugees and Host Communities meeting

Contributions towards this multi-stakeholder pledge