DPO seeks to work within the IASC Guidelines for MHPSS. The Inter Agency Standing Committee was established in 1992 by the United Nations and major NGOs and other organizations to ensure coordination of response and resources during disasters in order to optimize MHPSS response by facilitating collaboration and providing a consensus and evidence-based set of guidelines for organizations to reference.
According to the Guidelines, “The primary purpose of these guidelines is to enable humanitarian actors and communities to plan, establish and coordinate a set of minimum multi-sectoral responses to protect and improve people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being in the midst of an emergency.” Accordingly, Disaster Psychiatry Outreach seeks to work collaboratively in a culturally-competent manner to focus on the existing strengths of communities we seek to help, in cooperation with and with the goal to empower local individual and groups, in providing the unique services we offer in disaster response.
DPO operates in accord with the IASC core principles of 1) human rights and equity, 2) participation, 3) do no harm, 4) building on available resources and capacity, 5) integrated support systems, 6) multilayer supports. As a group of psychiatric physicians, we most often work within the “Focused, non-specialized supports” and “Specialized services” area of the Intervention Pyramid, in addition to working on community and family supports from within those focused regions.