United Nations bodies, the World Health Organisation and other international non-governmental organisations continue to issue recommendations and guidance relating to how we can protect ourselves from the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Below are compiled resources linked with suicide prevention, mental health and COVID-19 from intergovernmental and international non-governmental organisations. Up-to-date information continues to be accessible via the WHO website;
#HEALTHYATHOME – Mental Health
WHO’s #HealthyAtHome campaign aims to provide support related to the fundamental aspects of daily life that have undergone huge change due to social isolation. Advice covers different aspects of daily routines such as diet and exercise as well as specific advice for parents, older adults and other specific groups.
United Nations – COVID-19 Response: COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health
13th May 2020: UN issued a statement and policy brief highlighting the urgent need for governments to consider mental health a priority in their response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Basic Psychosocial Skills- A Guide for COVID-19 Responders
26th May 2020: Basic psychosocial support skills are at the core of any mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) intervention. Such skills are also indispensable for many other relief providers involved in the COVID-19 response, whether they identify as an MHPSS provider or not. This illustrated guide, developed by the IASC Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Reference Group (MHPSS RG), aims at building basic psychosocial skills among all essential workers responding to COVID-19 in all sectors.
Addressing violence against children, women and older people during the covid-19 pandemic: Key actions
WHO – 18th June 2020. Several countries affected by COVID-19, have seen increases in levels of violence occurring in the home, including violence against children, intimate partner violence and violence against older people. Countries also face increasing challenges in maintaining support and care for survivors of violence. This brief compiles key actions that the health sector can undertake within a multisectoral response to prevent or mitigate interpersonal violence based on existing WHO guidance.
WHO Mental Health and Psychoscoial Support Platform – Eastern Mediterranean Region
WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office: The platform offers basic psychological support to help better manage the psychosocial difficulties that may be experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Divided into 3 sections, it provides a questionnaire, general information and suggested exercises to manage stress and contact information for mental health professionals in EMRO countries.
The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office also hosts a number of resources collated by the office of Mental Health and Substance Use. These include helping front line workers cope with stress during COVID-19.
MHPSS Inter-agency Standing Committee briefing note
4th March 2020 – With inputs from all its member organizations, the IASC MHPSS RG recently finalized a Briefing Note about MHPSS aspects of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This document summarizes key mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) considerations in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as appropriate MHPSS responses, overarching principles and globally recommended activities.
It is also available in Chinese (traditional + simplified) and Arabic.
Mental Health & Psychosocial Considerations During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Developed by the WHO Department for Mental Health and Substance Use, this paper covers wider information and guidance on mental health considerations including some focus on different target groups such as healthworkers, carers and employers.
Social Stigma Associated with COVID-19
This important collaborative guidance aimed at governments, media and wider organisations addresses the issue of stigma towards those suffering from the coronavirus. The guidance outlines strategies to prevent and avoid all types of discrimination when it comes to this disease’s origin and/or any individual who has contracted the virus.
The European Psychiatric Association has established COVID-19 Resource Centre with links to high-quality COVID-19 resources for both health professionals and the general public. The site also includes some key recommendations and aims to include resources in multiple languages as they become available.
United For Global Mental Health is working to support the international community and their national partners to end the COVID-19 outbreak and build a stronger mental health system now, and for the future. In raising the profile of mental health and calling on world leaders, national and global funders to invest now for the longer term, they advocate to integrate mental health to ‘Build Back Better.’ An open letter developed by the CSO-led global Speak Your Mind Campaign call on governments to act now. UGMH also hosts weekly Mental Health and COVID-19 Webinar Series.