This document provides an approach and a toolkit to help those designing and conducting an assessment of mental health and psychosocial needs and resources in major humanitarian crises. These could include major natural and human-made disasters and complex emergencies (for example armed conflicts). In general, assessments are aimed at:

  • providing a broad understanding of the humanitarian situation;
  • analysing people’s problems and their ability to deal with them; and
  • analysing resources to decide, in consultation with stakeholders, the nature of any response required.

Assessments are also helpful to start engagement with stakeholders, including governments, community stakeholders and national and international agencies. There is no ‘one assessment that fits all’. This document is not a cookbook. Rather, it provides a toolkit and an approach to selecting the right tools. You should select a few tools and adapt them within each assessment project and specific situation, depending on what you want the assessment to achieve.