Disasters, conflicts, wars and health epidemics are numerous and are by their very nature a serious threat to the health and well-being of the people involved.  The big disasters make the newspapers, but the less well-publicized, smaller disasters are just as devastating in their effect on the lives and health of the local population. Critical events, such as disasters, conflicts, wars, accidents and health epidemics occur with social and psychological consequences that often undermine people’s ability to carry on with their lives. Characteristic of the problems faced by these people is a feeling of loss, i.e.:

> Loss of personal relations and material goods
> Loss of opportunity to generate an income
> Loss of social cohesion
> Loss of dignity, trust and safety
> Loss of a positive self image
> Loss of trust in the future.

Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity, to try to help people come to terms with the sense of loss, and to rebuild their lives. Psychological support helps to relieve emotional suffering so that beneficiaries are sooner able to rely on their own resources and cope more successfully with the hardships they face on the road to recovery. Psychological support, then, describes any activity that improves a person’s ability to function under the extraordinary level of stress observed in the context of a critical event.

Historically, the RCSS staff and volunteers have provided support to people affected by critical events and responded to human suffering in many different ways. Providing emotional help to vulnerable people through psychosocial activities requires trained staff and volunteers who are willing to face challenges. For this reason a core group of volunteers were trained by the French Red Cross and the IFRC.
Psychosocial support within the RCSS is given as a separate initiative or support in existing program as a component of disaster preparedness or First Aid. The goal is to strengthen the quality of care for beneficiaries and provide adequate support for the helpers themselves.