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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 223-231

Linking mental health and psychosocial support and disaster risk reduction: applying a wellbeing lens to disaster risk reduction

1 Medical Anthropologist and Psychosocial Practitioner
2 Independent Consultant

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in emergencies has been slow to engage with the growing global policy consensus around disaster risk reduction (DRR) as embodied by the Hyogo Framework for Action and its successor, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. However, there are encouraging recent efforts to harness the synergies that exist between the fields of DRR and MHPSS. As these linkages between the fields of MHPSS and DRR are still in an early stage of development, our attempt to outline a preliminary basis for how the objectives of the two fields may be combined in practice, and conceptually, might help move this process forward. It is in the interest of the MHPSS field to invest further in ways and means of integrating with the fast growing, dynamic and increasingly influential field of DRR. In turn, the field of MHPSS has much to offer by way of perspectives and approaches that can amplify the impact of DRR activities on the quality of life of people who are at risk of experiencing hazards or disasters. We believe this paper will demonstrate this and encourage others in the MHPSS field to seek greater dialogue and integration between the two fields.

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