2020 bi-annual meeting, webinar, publications and updates
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Red Cross Red Crescent Research Network on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
Dear All,

Welcome to the August issue of the research network newsletter! We trust that this edition finds you healthy and safe during the challenging times we find ourselves in. Given the current pandemic there has been an explosion of research conducted on the topic of MHPSS. This issue of the newsletter will delve into a selection of COVID-19 papers and resources. Suffering COVID-19 fatigue? Don’t dismay we will also highlight some great new research that has been released on the topic of MHPSS more broadly!

Firstly though, I would like to take the time to introduce Michelle and Charlotte, two new members of the IFRC PS Centre who will be supporting the Research Network as part of the Research Network Coordination Group. Michelle is the new Mental Health and Migration Technical Advisor at the Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support. She has a strong interest in operational research since she completed her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology in Australia. Since then, she has practiced clinically and has worked in various humanitarian contexts. Michelle is currently working on an Horizon 2020 project exploring forced displacement and refugee-host community solidarity (FOCUS) and will be a co-lead for the research network.

Charlotte has also recently joined the team at the IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support as Project Manager. She has a background in migration and protection having worked mainly with ICRC implementing protection programmes, developing policy ad providing capacity building. Charlotte is primarily coordinating the PS Centre’s activities contributing towards the implementation of the commitments undertaken on MHPSS at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

We understand it has been quite some time since our last communication so we would like to give you an update on the Research Network Coordination Group (RNCG). The RNCG will be meeting in the last week of August. The purpose of the meeting is to review the previous terms of reference and workplan in light of the disruptions caused by COVID-19. We also hope to explore opportunities for the research network to support the realisation of components of the Roadmap for Implementation (see 'Spotlight on MOMENT'). Following the meeting we will update you in our next newsletter about exciting new webinars and opportunities to engage. Until then, stay safe and well.

Happy reading!
Have you conducted relevant research on mental health and psychosocial support in your National Society/institution or presented your research at a conference? We would like to hear from you so that we can share your achievements with all network members. Please share your experiences and/or research with please use the subject ‘Research Network’.
Resources Developed by the Research Network 
Did you know that research network members have compiled the following resources that may be useful to you:
Spotlight on MOMENT
The Movement project on Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Consequences of Armed Conflicts, Natural Disasters and other Emergencies (MOMENT) was created in the run up to the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The project has been extended for a second phase running until end of 2020 to help strengthen the Movement’s capacity and capability to respond to mental health needs in accordance with the adopted Movement MHPSS policy and the 33rd International Conference resolution. To this end, A Roadmap for Implementation 2020-2023 was developed by MOMENT to guide the Movement in the steps towards full implementation of its commitments on MHPSS. The Research Network hopes to be instrumental in supporting the ambition of the Roadmap. In particular, it will aim to contribute to the Roadmap’s priority area 1 guaranteeing a basic level of psychosocial support and integrating MHPSS across sectors and priority area 4 demonstrating the impact of MHPSS interventions through research, evidence, monitoring and evaluation. The Research Network will help build capacity in addressing mental health and psychosocial needs in line with these specific commitments. Please see the below links for the documents mentioned here.
Resolution 2 of the 33rd International Conference is available here

Resolution 5 of the 2019 Council of Delegates including the Movement policy is available here

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement commitments on addressing mental health and psychosocial needs: A roadmap for implementation 2020 – 2023 is available here
Conferences and Events
Save the Children Denmark’s (Red Barnet) 75th Anniversary Conference – How do we secure children’s mental health and wellbeing?
09 September 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark
Convening with Government, Civil Society Leaders and Community Members this event calls for dedicated funds for evidence-based and innovative programs and services that prioritise mental health and wellbeing.
For further information and registration details please click here

ISTSS 36th Annual Meeting- Bridging Science and Practice to Reach Underserved Communities: Barriers, Opportunities and Innovations
4 – 14 November 2020, virtual event
Acknowledging the gap in translating research into practice, this annual meeting will seek to highlight the most up-to-date, innovative work being conducted on the topic of traumatic stress globally. The forum hopes the latest research will have practical implications for ensuring effective service access to hard to reach and vulnerable populations.
For further information about the meeting please click here

You can use your vote to influence the themes of the bi-annual meeting here.

More information will follow about firegistration, abstract submission, mentoring schemes for abstract submissions and travel scholarships.

ESTSS 17th biennial conference – Trauma and resilience through the ages: A life course perspective
Save the Date: 16 – 19 June 2021, Belfast, Northern Ireland
The biennial conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies will explore he life course perspective theme as it relates to research and clinical practice through talks, workshops and networking events. 
For further information about the conference please click here
PS Centre Events and Trainings
Psychosocial Support in Emergencies – an online training
14 – 17 September 2020
A four-day online course on the development and practical implementation of mental health and psychosocial support strategies in humanitarian settings.
For further information including how to register, please click here

Webinar: MHPSS for migrants during COVID-19
Sharing perspectives of good practices during COVID-19 from the Interagency People on the Move Technical Working Group (IASC RG) and from National RC/RC Societies in Niger and the Netherlands.
An online recording is available here

Call for Papers
Intervention Journal on Problem Management Plus (PM+)
The Intervention Journal plans to devote a special section on Problem Management Plus and related interventions in the February 2021 issue.  The issue aims to seek awareness of scalable psychological interventions, in particular in documenting learning in the implementation of PM+.
Deadline for submissions is 30th September 2020

Forced Migration Review on mental health and psychosocial support
A full issue in February 2021 of the Forced Migration Review will focus on the topic of mental health, reflecting its relevance in all situations pertaining to displacement.  The issue aims to provide a forum for affected communities, practitioners, advocates, policymakers and researchers to share experiences and good practice and offer recommendations.  FMR Editors are specifically requesting practice-oriented submissions, reflecting a diverse range of experiences.
Deadline for submissions is 19th October 2020
Global Mental Health on ‘Climate change and global mental health – building a humane social climate’
A special issue focused on highlighting existing knowledge and provoking new thinking around tackling the current climate challenge. Original empirical research as well as rigorous case studies and proposed initiatives and policies are sought.
Submissions accepted on a rolling basis until 30th November 2020

Pan African Medical Journal on COVID-19 in Africa
A special issue to scan the early COVID-19 response landscape in Africa.  The journal is inviting reflections, original research and work. The special issue will continue for one year and articles will be published continuously as they are accepted.
Further information about submissions can be found here


Asia-Pacific Psychiatry Special Issue on Transcultural Psychotherapy
Selected articles in this special issue will demonstrate the importance of cultural adaptations in psychotherapy across all clinical settings in the Asia-Pacific region (and others). Manuscript submissions of research studies, clinical reviews and education programs are encouraged.
Deadline for submissions is 01st September 2020


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Original studies are welcomed on the worldwide impact of COVID-19 on mental health, the responses from mental health professionals, and the consequences at the psychological and social level.  Public health studies will be prioritised, in order to facilitate the implementation of real changes for ordinal clinical practice.
Accepted papers will be published on a rolling basis until 31st January 2021

Publications and Resources
Research Articles

No implementation without cultural adaptation: a process for culturally adapting low-intensity psychological interventions in humanitarian settings This article highlights a four-step process on how to adapt low-intensity psychological interventions within humanitarian settings.

Psychiatric and neuropsychiatric presentations associated with severe coronavirus infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis with comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic Published in The Lancet this paper notes that clinicians should be aware of the possibility of depression, anxiety, fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder and rarer neuropsychiatric syndromes in the longer term.

Cost-effectiveness of WHO Problem Management Plus for adults with mood and anxiety disorders in a post-conflict area of Pakistan: randomised controlled trial This article found that the PM+ intervention was more effective and most costly than enhanced treatment as usual.  Information around costing was provided.

Lessons Learned evaluating the baby friendly spaces program for south Sudanese refugees in Gambella, Ethiopia: strengthening research and programmatic partnerships to address maternal and child health and psychosocial needs in humanitarian emergencies This study explored ways to strengthen the implementation and acceptability of baby friendly spaces in a refugee camp setting.

Systematic review of factors associated with quality of life of asylum seekers and refugees in high-income countries This article reported that established social networks and social integration were associated with higher quality of life and mental disorders were strongly associated with reduced quality of life.

A multitier model of refugee mental health and psychosocial support in resettlement: Toward trauma-informed and culture-informed systems of care This article adopted and applied the IASC multitier MHPSS model, and proposed a two-pillar approach to be embedded into each tier in order to fill the gaps between mainstream mental health services and refugee resettlement programs.
Reports and Books
An Approach and Theory of Change to Mental Health and Psychosocial Support This paper and theory of change outlines a comprehensive and rights/based approach that promotes wellbeing for all.  The document is drafted by the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Life after lockdown: Tackling loneliness among those left behind A report by the British Red Cross highlighting that while social distancing measures may ease, loneliness will remain. The report presents important recommendations for policy makers and civil society.

Assessing the mental health and wellbeing of the Emergency Responder community in the UK This report acknowledges that those working in emergency response are at increased risk of adverse mental health and wellbeing outcomes and presents important recommendations for research and practice in this population.

Funders agree first common metrics for mental health science The International Alliance of Mental Health Funders, National Institute of Mental Health and Wellcome have outlined a small number of agreed upon metrics to be highly recommended with immediate effect and mandated in the future.

Social Inclusion of Migrants Published by the Red Cross of Serbia this report presents research of opinions towards migrants and recommendations for how to decrease discrimination.
Operational Guidance
IASC Guidance on Operational Considerations for Multisectoral Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programmes during the COVID-19 Pandemic An annex to the IASC Interim Briefing Note this document is intended to support the MHPSS operational response within the various sectors of humanitarian work.

Monitoring and Evaluation for MHPSS in COVID-19 A set of indicators and means of verification relevant to MHPSS work in the context of COVID-19.

Clinical management of COVID-19 Released by the World Health Organization this guidance document is intended for clinicians caring for COVID-19 patients during all phases of the disease.  A chapter is included on the management of neurological and mental manifestations of COVID-19.

Addressing violence against children, women and older people during the COVID-19 pandemic: Key actions This report developed by the World Health Organization highlights key actions to address violence in the home that may be exacerbated as a result of the pandemic.
Mental Health & COVID-19 Webinar Series
Weekly on Tuesdays at 09:00EST, 14:00 BST, 15:00 CET, 15:00 SAST, 18:30 IST
The Lancet Psychiatry, Mental Health Innovation Network, and United for Global Mental Health have launched a series of weekly webinars designed to provide policy makers and the wider health community with the latest updates and evidence related to mental health and psychosocial support in the context of COVID-19.
For further information about future webinars in the series and to register, please follow this link
The Research Network Noticeboard
Research in the Movement
Monitoring and maintenance of handwashing devices during the COVID-19 crisis in a humanitarian context – The role of psychological ownership
Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and IFRC
Funded by Elrha as part of the 15 research studies to support the COVID-19 response, this research will investigate the role of individual and collective psychological ownership on monitoring and maintenance of public and private handwashing devices using a controlled trial, under the current COVID-19 crisis in the context of the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Healthcare in danger: Elrha partners with ICRC to increase evidence base on violence in healthcare
A strategic partnership to increase the evidence base on violence against healthcare in conflicts and other emergencies as part of the Healthcare in Danger Initiative a situation analysis and review of the evidence base will be conducted.  This review seeks to increase knowledge and understanding and to inform and guide policy and practice.
New Members
Do you know someone who would like to join the Research Network? Ask them to sign up here! Membership is open to individuals engaged in research on MHPSS in humanitarian settings, with an interest and influence in promoting research and evidence based work to support the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

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