These events take many forms. Today, we are witnessing an unprecedented wave of humanitarian emergencies linked to conflict and natural disasters. Meanwhile, millions of people each year endure sexual assault, violent crime and traumatic accidents.
Psychological first aid is just one component of the broader mental health services integral to national health systems that governments committed to in the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020. Governments need to develop robust systems of care for the short- and long-term. Civil society organizations can support these efforts through raising awareness, community-based programmes and research. And each one of us can examine how we can offer support to our friends, families and neighbours.
On this World Mental Health Day, let us all show compassion and empathy for those who have survived a crisis and make sure they can access the help they need, for as long as they require it.