Closing Keynote Address:
"Mental Health and Psychosocial Interventions in Humanitarian Settings: The Emerging Role of Social Work"
Marise Denault, MSW, Mental Health Specialist/ Project Coordinator with Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), spoke about the importance and relevance of mental health interventions in humanitarian interventions and crises throughout the world. She highlighted the key role that social work skills and strategies play when applied to humanitarian missions in light of increased awareness internationally of the devastating mental health consequences and psychological distress of the populations affected by disasters and armed conflict. The presentation focused on concrete examples including: mental health assessment methods, intervention methods, tools, protocols, guidelines and strategies used in the field, as well as social work skills and competencies required.
MSF is an independent international medical relief organization working in as many as 65 countries worldwide which provides assistance to populations in distress, including victims of natural or man-made disasters and armed conflict. MSF recognizes the need to implement mental health and psychosocial interventions as an integral part of the overall spectrum of care provided. Its mental health programs are implemented by trained mental health professionals including experienced clinical social workers. programs in the field include therapeutic interventions and community engagement activities which are relevant to the context and the culture.