Psychosocial Support


Caritas Pakistan first entered the psychosocial support field in response to 2005 earthquake that struck the northern parts of Pakistan. While the immediate physical needs of earth quake survivors were being met by other aid organizations, Caritas immediately responded by addressing the emotional, psychological and social impact of the associated trauma and grief of the survivors. Caritas’ early activities in the early phase included, providing

  • Direct psychological first aid to earthquake survivors in hospitals and shelters around Islamabad/ Rawalpindi;
  • Basic support skills to relief workers and volunteers working with affectees and volunteers working with affectees and
  • Psychosocial debriefing to relief workers.

Within the first month, Caritas Pakistan realized the need for a more intensive and sustained psychosocial support program to support the earthquake affectees in their long road to recovery. Recognizing that it had a unique role to play. In this regard, in November 2005 Caritas Pakistan organized an intensive psychosocial support training for its staff. Caritas Pakistan aimed at facilitating the psychosocial recovery, wellbeing, and rehabilitation of affected communities of KPK by training, supervising and supporting field workers working in camps and affected villages in the province to run psychosocial support/information sessions and social programs for the earthquake affectees.  

At the end, Caritas Pakistan’s psychosocial support activities, with an additional focus on gender issues, were absorbed in other running programs within Caritas Pakistan like DRR, WASH and SAFBIN etc. of which it has been a part ever since.

As a part of Caritas Pakistan psychosocial work, a range of support and information material training manuals and modules, articles, information packages in Urdu and English and pictorial educational material was also developed. This included the checklist to facilitate Gender sensitivity of relief and reconstruction efforts for survivors of the Earthquake and flood in Pakistan.

Caritas Pakistan’s increasing expertise on psychosocial support was called up once again during the Swat IDP crisis in 2009 when Caritas offered trainings to aid organizations working with the affected population. A psychosocial support need assessment was also conducted with IDPs.

Caritas Pakistan extended its services of psychosocial support during the giant floods of July 2010 and 2022. In this devastated situation people were in trauma when their loved ones and their belongings swept away in cruel waters of floods. The staff, field staff and volunteers worked day and night for the assistance of affected population and taking them out of this traumatic situation. Different activities were conducted by the organization in this regard:

  • Bringing affected people to the safer places
  • Providing child and female friendly spaces
  • Trauma counselling /psychiatric camps
  • Provision of food and other supplements
  • Arranging activities to regain confidence of flood affectees
  • Skill development sessions
  • Recreational activities
  • Information sessions
  • Development and rehabilitation activities
  • Group sessions/workshops
  • Temporary learning centers

Caritas Pakistan played a vital role in ensuring the wellbeing of mental health of flood affectees. because caritas Pakistan is of the view that the person will always perform the life’s chores well when he is mentally stable. With this vision the organization always came up with the great enthusiasm for psychosocial support along with other urgent responses.

The organization provided psychosocial support to Peshawar church suicide attack victims through awareness sessions and mental therapies.

Suicide bombing at Gulshan Iqbal Park in Lahore spread chaos and fear in the people. Soon after the bomb blast the team of caritas Pakistan reached the spot and start rescuing the people. Caritas Pakistan team visited Jinnah hospital Lahore and families of the victims of suicide attack. The staff assisted the families and victims through different psychosocial sessions and activities to bring them out of the trauma they were experiencing.

The joseph colony incident occurred on March 9, 2013, in Lahore when the mob of extremists set out fire to the houses of area. The incident resulted in the displacement of around 200 Christian families fearing for their safety. Caritas Pakistan immediately visited the affected area in coordination with local church the following activities were carried out to the victims of joseph colony.

  • Free medical camps
  • Psychosocial support to the victims
  • Distribution of basic necessities
  • Mobile school for children.

Caritas Pakistan staff worked at that time even when Covid-19 was prevailing all over. They took it as their responsibility to help and share information to fearful population when the people were in traumatic situation when the businesses and works of people were stopped and they were not able to move out as there was the situation of lockdown and social distancing was mandatory for everyone and everywhere to maintain. Caritas Pakistan conducted awareness sessions on psychosocial support by practicing SOP’s.


In an attempt to increase this understanding and contribute to an effective psychosocial support strategy tailored to the needs of disaster-affected communities in Pakistan, Caritas Pakistan conducted a small scale qualitative study, aiming to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the psychosocial needs of the disaster affected community;
  • Gain an understanding of the psychosocial intervention models currently being employed in post-disaster settings in Pakistan; and

Inform the development of participatory and culturally-sensitive psychosocial programs and strategies that are relevant to the needs of disaster affected communities. 

 Trauma counselling -Joseph colony incident

 Female and child friendly spaces for medical camp for earthquake affectees

Medical camp for earthquake affectees