WHO releases new guidance on integrating mental health in radiological emergency response

The Framework for mental health and psychosocial support in radiological and nuclear emergencies, released today, brings together, for the first time, existing knowledge from the fields of mental health and protection from radiation in an integrated guide for preparedness for and response to nuclear and radiological emergencies.

Past nuclear and radiological accidents have shown that the mental health and psychosocial consequences of such events can outweigh the direct physical health impacts of radiation exposure. Both the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents were reported to have considerable diverse and long-lasting social, psychological and mental health consequences affecting both individuals and societies as a whole.

The Framework is intended for officials and specialists involved in radiation emergency planning and risk management as well as mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) experts working in health emergencies.

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