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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 122-129

How to conduct a mental health and psychosocial support situational analysis in a refugee-based emergency context: a case study example from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

1 MA, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, Denmark
2 MA, Danish Red Cross, Denmark
3 MSc, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Denmark
4 MPhil, International Organisation for Migration, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
Sarah Harrison
IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, c/o Danish Red Cross, Blegdamsvej 27, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_42_19

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Early in 2019, a situational analysis of mental health and psychosocial support services for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar was carried out jointly by International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies Reference Centre, International Organisation for Migration and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The main objective of this situational analysis was to identify the approaches that were working well within the current response, the gaps within existing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and to provide practical options and recommendations for MHPSS service providers working through different sectors. The methodology included: 1) a review of existing knowledge about MHPSS services for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar through desk review methodology; 2) analysis of updated 4Ws (who is where, when and doing what) MHPSS service mapping; 3) strategic priorities mapping which was conducted with members of the MHPSS Working Group in Cox’s Bazar; 4) focus group discussions with camp populations; and 5) meetings with service providers. The results from the strategic priorities mapping are shared in another article in the Special Issue of Intervention (Harrison et al., 2019, pp. 206–211). This article draws upon the Cox’s Bazar case study to outline the methodological approaches and process used to conduct a situational analysis, with a view to guiding agencies interested in undertaking future situational analyses in other, ongoing, refugee and humanitarian contexts. Key implications for practice
  • An MHPSS situational analysis conducted in an ongoing emergency or refugee setting is a useful programming and advocacy tool for country-level MHPSS working groups and the agencies that co-lead these working groups.
  • The process of conducting an inter-agency MHPSS situational analysis supports the functioning, purpose and coordination activities of a country-level MHPSS working group.
  • Future MHPSS situational analyses should be conducted with the full involvement of persons with severe mental health conditions, to ensure that the perspectives of service users are included, in addition to persons suffering from psychological distress and persons with transient MHPSS problems.

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