Community-based Psychosocial Support

Where does it fall under the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Intervention Pyramid for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in emergencies?

Focused, non-specialized supports:

  1. Community-based psychosocial support, co-facilitated by trained and supervised (refugee) outreach volunteers.
  2. Psychological First Aid (Beirut Blast Program).
  3. Basic mental health care provided by primary health care workers.
Where does it fall under the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Intervention Pyramid for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in emergencies?


  • The foundation of all community-based psychosocial work is the belief in the affected community’s capacity for recovery and resilience as all communities and individuals have resources and strategies for dealing with difficulties, illness and distress. 

Key points

  • A community-based psychosocial support implies that our interventions seek to build on individual and community resources and capacities and their resilience.
  • Mobilization of community support networks is an essential element of a sustainable psychosocial response.


  • Mapping and building on local resources including local community networks and community practices, processes and mechanisms.
  • Focus on mobilizing and training community level volunteers linked to existing community networks and a referral system, and promoting peer support.
  • Meaningful participation of local actors and community members at all stages of engagement.
  • Use of existing entry points for conducting psychosocial activities, such as community centers, social development centers and other community-based platforms.

Specific Objectives

  • To prevent the onset of mental disorders before they emerge among people with psychosocial and other mental health problems from the refugee population and host communities.
  • To build the capacity of (refugee) outreach volunteers to successfully design, implement and evaluate psychosocial support programs in their own communities or in their country of origin in case of safe return.

CB-PSS three-month Cycle

Phase I: Identification of Outreach Volunteers (OVs) with health/education or other relevant backgrounds.

Phase II: Capacity building to recruited OVs on:

  • Screening and referrals of people with mental health and psychosocial problems.
  • Designing, facilitating and evaluating CB-PSS sessions.
  • Codes of conduct and ethical guidelines.

Phase III: Identification of people in need by trained OVs in targeted communities.

Phase IV: Group Participatory Assessment (PA) Sessions targeting identified affected persons with the aim of learning about their needs, resources, gaps, and developing the main objectives that need to be addressed under the CB-PSS program.

Phase V: Needs’ assessments and registration of affected persons.

Phase VI: Formation of CB-PSS groups (consisting of 10 to 15 participants each); based on age, gender, vulnerabilities, culture, geographical area and needs.

Phase VII: Development of a tailored CB-PSS program for each group based on the findings of the group PA sessions and individual needs’ assessments.

Phase VIII: Implementation of the CBS program. Around 10 to 15 remote or face-to-face sessions are provided per group, facilitated by Restart Center’s specialists and co-facilitated by trained OVs.

Phase IX: Evaluation of the program

Types of CBS Programs

  • Psychosocial support
  • Peace-building education
  • Awareness-raising
  • Parental Guidance targeting parents of children with special needs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Recreational activities including cultural and artistic performances

Aim of PSS Activities

  • Foster social connections and interactions, including through using existing community networks of children, youth and women.
  • Normalize daily life.
  • Promote a sense of competence and restoration of control over one’s life.
  • Build on and encourage individual’s and community’s innate resilience to crisis.
  • Provide for identifying, referring and treating individuals with severe mental disorders.
  • Strengthen social cohesion between the host community and refugee population.

Target Groups

  • Survivors of torture, violence and trauma
  • Survivors of gender-based violence
  • Persons deprived of their liberty in places of detention
  • Refugees
  • Children with special needs and their parents/caregivers
  • Persons with mental illness
  • Women and children
  • Women heads of households
  • Vulnerable individuals from the LGBT community
  • Children with emotional or behavioral problems (including in public schools and orphanages)
together, we can break the cycle of torture.
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North Lebanon

Sabalbal & Weli Bldg., Residence 5,
2nd floor, Dam & Farez Street, Tripoli
Tel/Fax: +961 6 410 577
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Beirut Mount Lebanon

Bou Chedid Center, Main street,
4th floor, Furn El-Chebbak
Tel/Fax: +961 1 291 066   +961 1 291 067
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