Mental health and psychosocial support for children in humanitarian settings: An updated review of evidence and practice

The Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) MHPSS Guidelines in Emergency Settings guides humanitarian actors on how to reduce the risk of harm and respond appropriately to the different MHPSS needs that emerge in emergencies (IASC, 2007). One aspect of the Guidelines’ principle on ‘do no harm’ is that practitioners must stay “updated on the evidence base regarding effective practices.” This review provides practitioners with a review and update on effective practices and evidence in the field of MHPSS. It was first drafted in 2015, presenting evidence and practice specific to children in order to support the implementation of MHPSS activities in humanitarian settings. This updated 2020 Review includes recent evidence updates (2015-2020), and addressing an identified gap in the 2015 Review, includes additional evidence on child and community participation. It serves as a compilation of evidence and best practice around MHPSS for children in humanitarian settings and complements the UNICEF Guidelines on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings: Three-tiered support for children and families (field test version) and Compendium of resources, a supporting document to UNICEF’s operational guidance: Community-based child protection.

Resource Info

Resource Type

Emergency Update/Report


Published by

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)


Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)
Research and Evidence