Directly following the MHPSS Summit of the Dutch Ministry, ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre hosted the Annual Meeting of the Inter Agency Standing Committee on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group (IASC MHPSS RG). An excellent opportunity to introduce ARQ to 70 influential professionals in the international field.
The IASC brings together professionals involved in mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies from NGO’s and UN organisations – and some donors - from all over the world. It is an important platform in the field of MHPSS to meet, update each other and be involved in global decision making on ways to improve care.
ARQ International (formerly War Trauma Foundation) has been a member of this group for many years, but it was the first time we were the principal host of the meeting. During the two day meeting there were many presentations on global developments in MHPSS, and around the new to be created MHPSS Surge Capacity Roster and a Minimum Service Package for MHPSS in Humanitarian Settings. There were also updates from working groups around children & families, community based care, disaster risk reduction, peacebuilding and gender based violence and many more topics. A workplan for the coming year for the group has been drafted, and next year’s meeting will be held in Uganda.