By applying a psychosocial approach CARE Österreich wants to ensure that humanitarian and development actions embody a holistic understanding of wellbeing of individuals and communities so that programme's appropriateness, impact and sustainability will increase. Psychologically safe persons are more likely to be able to connect to other people, develop joint solutions to problems and work for the common good and sustainable development.

Women and girls, due to centuries of discrimination, are more likely to suffer from reduced psychosocial wellbeing, which increases their vulnerability to poverty. Many girls and women are hindered by gender stereotypes that prescribe that women have to submit themselves to men and by reduced self esteem and confidence to participate in development programmes or engage in social change and politics.

Additionally gender based violence mainly affects women and girls. Gender based violence, especially sexual violence, erodes women's and girls' self esteem and is most destructive for women's and girls' health and wellbeing. Psychosocial interventions that strengthen women's and girls' resilience and prevent and address GBV are a fundamental part of CARE Österreich's women's empowerment programming.


CARE's psychosocial approach

Download PDF: Psychosocial Programming in CARE


The CARE Österreich Psychosocial Guidelines are outlining the strong interrelation of women's empowerment and psychosocial wellbeing. They give an overview of the scope of psychosocial programming, it's theoretical underpinnings and implications for several thematic areas.

Download PDF: CARE Österreich Psychosocial Guidelines, pdf 


Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Pschosocial Support in Emergency Settings

Download PDF: IASC Guidelines, pdf


Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency settings: Checklist for Field Use

Download PDF: IASC Checklist, pdf


CARE Österreich Learning Conference on Psychological Interventions for women's psychosocial well-being in conflict affect countries (Burundi, Nepal, Uganda)

Download PDF: Conference Report


„To be well at heart“ in Burundi, Nepal and Uganda – is a unique study. Women themselves develop and describe their own definitions of psychosocial well-being that go beyond the suffering and trauma of conflict to incorporate their aspirations and positive dreams. 


The extensive analysis, guided by the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunters College City University of New York and CARE Österreich with financial support of the Austrian Development Cooperation, can serve as a model for other studies and other contexts.

Download PDF: To be well at heart Three Country Study

CARE Psychosocial Well-Being Study Acholi Subregion

CARE Psychosocial Well-Being Study Burundi

CARE Psychosocial Well-Being Study Nepal

Based on the cross country research “To be well at heart” a generic methodology to monitor and evaluate “psychosocial wellbeing” has been developed – the methodology is called SEE_PET as it is adapted from the “Stepwise Ethnographic Exploration” and the “Participatory Evaluation Technique”.

Click here to download SEE_PET



IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings

In December 2007 the IASC Working Group established the IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. This reference group is tasked to follow up on the implementation of the Guidelines elaborated by the 2005-2007 IASC Task Force on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings.

IASC - Psychosocial Support


Mental Health and Psychosocial Network

Initiative of the MHPSS Network focussed on serving the wide range of people working in the field of mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies and other situations of extreme stress across the world.



Psychosocial Working Group (PWG)

The PWG was established in 2000 with the support of grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation as a collaboration between academic institutions and humanitarian agencies committed to the development of knowledge and best practice in the field of psychosocial interventions in complex emergencies.



IFRC – Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support



WHO - Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies

The target group for WHO work on mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies is any population exposed to extreme stressors, such as refugees, internally displaced persons, disaster survivors and terrorism-, war- or genocide-exposed populations. The Department's work on mental health in emergencies focuses mostly on resource-poor countries, where most populations exposed to natural disasters and war live.