Prolonged crises and violent conflicts have devastating consequences on the mental health and well-being of communities and individuals. In recent years, significant advances have been made to respond to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) needs in humanitarian settings. Yet, MHPSS remains not structurally part of prevention and peacebuilding efforts. Addressing the psychological and social needs of communities is essential for building sustainable peace: Healing the conflicts within us helps resolve the conflicts around us.
Shaped by inputs of over 100 practitioners globally, UNDP’s new Guidance Note on Integrating MHPSS into Peacebuilding identifies ten key principles for a structured approach, intended to support international, national, and local practitioners to integrate MHPSS into their peacebuilding efforts. The Guidance Note’s principles are based on a complementary report that incorporates data from five sources: a literature review, a stakeholder survey, five online regional consultations, thematic expert consultations on emerging issues, and knowledge and experience from fieldwork. The report highlights an urgent need to integrate mental health and psychosocial support into all phases of prevention and peacebuilding.