HIAS aims to improve mental health and psychosocial well-being, and reduce suffering among all refugees that we work with. HIAS staff implement community-based psychosocial services that build upon existing strengths and resources, empowering communities, groups, families, and individuals to care for themselves and each other. The programming helps survivors address the grief, fear, isolation, and distress that can result from forced flight, surviving or witnessing violence, loss or separation from family, and the daily stress of living on the margins of foreign cities or in refugee camps.
HIAS offers integrated and stand-alone psychosocial activities that are tailored to each community and to individual refugees to help them establish new lives built on dignity and self-sufficiency. Our programming is consistent with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. Areas of focus include:
Strengthening Communities and Families
- Capacity-building of community leaders and members to provide basic psychosocial support and to refer refugees in need of more advanced care.
- Training for partner organizations and national institutions on key MHPSS topics, including the IASC Guidelines, Psychological First Aid, SGBV response, and counseling skills.
- Individual and group counseling for children, adolescents, and adults experiencing emotional distress. Interventions are culturally and faith-sensitive.