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U.N. Releases New Guidelines On Mental Health Care For Trauma, Loss

“The United Nations health and refugee agencies [on Tuesday] released new guidelines and clinical protocols on mental health care for adults and children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and bereavement,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The guidelines — released by the WHO, in conjunction with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) — are designed to give non-specialized health workers and primary health care workers enough information to provide ‘psychological first aid’ and stress management, and to help people identify and strengthen positive coping methods and social support,” the news service writes (8/6). “This is the first time the [WHO] has issued guidelines dealing with the mental health consequences of trauma and loss,” according to VOA News, which notes, “This 270-page report is geared toward nurses, doctors and other health workers who do not specialize in mental health disorders” (Schlein, 8/6). “Using the new protocol, … primary health care workers can offer basic psychosocial support to refugees as well as people exposed to trauma or loss in other situations,” a WHO press release states. “Types of support offered can include psychological first aid, stress management and helping affected people to identify and strengthen positive coping methods and social supports,” the press release adds (8/6).