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Strengthening National Psychological Organisations’ Response to Crises: Lessons Learned, Challenges and Priorities


  • Brigitte Khoury, IUPsyS Executive Committee


Simon Crowe, IUPsyS Executive Committee


In times of conflict and disasters, the psychological well-being of affected populations is often overlooked amidst the urgency of immediate relief efforts. Recognizing this gap, there has been a growing emphasis on the role of National Psychological Organisations in providing a full range of psychological expertise. The panelists will examine the imperative for capacity building within these organisations to effectively address the psychological ramifications of conflicts and disasters.

First, they will highlight the lessons learned and the multifaceted challenges faced by these organisations during conflicts and disasters, among which are limited resources, inadequate training, and socio-cultural barriers.

Second, they highlight the significance of capacity building initiatives tailored to the unique needs of these organisations and their context, encompassing training programmes, knowledge exchange networks, and sustainable funding mechanisms. Moreover, they underscore the pivotal role of partnerships between these organisations, and international organisations, such as IUPSYS in order to initiate, implement and support capacity building endeavors.

Furthermore, the speakers provide examples of innovative approaches such as telepsychology and community-based interventions, which can augment the reach and effectiveness of national psychological organisations in resource-limited settings. They also underscore the importance of integrating cultural competence and full range of psychological specialties into capacity building initiatives to ensure culturally sensitive, contextually relevant interventions and the development of national disaster infrastructure.

Finally, the speakers underscore the need to evaluate the efficacy and sustainability of capacity building action within psychology organisations, thereby fostering evidence-based practices, continuous improvement and community well-being.

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