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Posted by Regional Emergency Psychosocial Support Network
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The Regional Emergency Psychosocial Support Network was borne out of the desire of emergency psychosocial caregivers in the South East Asia and the Pacific Region to facilitate the process of building, developing and strengthening the capacities of organizations in the region for providing psychosocial response in emergency situations. In the past, there have been cases wherein the delivery of emergency psychosocial intervention was delayed due to the fact that contacts between organizations from various countries were not maintained or are at best informal. To help address the need, UNICEF EAPRO, convened “The 1st Asia and Pacific Regional Experts’ Meeting on Psychosocial Response in Emergencies on August 30 to 31, 2001 in Bangkok, Thailand. That historic meeting resulted in the conceptualization and establishment of the Regional Emergency Psychosocial Support Network, which aims to:

Be a resource center with a database on human resources, organizations and their services, relevant ongoing and existing researches, field practices, initiatives on local indigenous approaches, healing/building capacities training materials, assessment tools, guidelines and principles pertinent in emergency situations.

Be a venue for information exchange in which this web site is the hub, a CD-ROM containing pertinent information, documents, researches, methodologies and theoretical handles in responding to emergency situations, and e-groups, e-conferences and a newsletter on current events, training opportunities and conferences. It aims to promote cooperation and information sharing for specific emergency situations

Initiate training of regional emergency response team. The members of the response team will be based on a list recommended by organizations and individuals in the field. The 20-25 individuals who will be selected will be trained in psychosocial first aid. This will form a team with a common language, vision and the same appreciation of the lessons learned in the region.

Serve as a rapid response conduit. In emergencies the database on institutions and people who could be deployed quickly in emergencies will be very important. Training courses on psychosocial first aid will be developed. An emergency kit with important materials, guidelines, methodologies, and approaches will be available online. Conference calls among experts will be available as required.