Mass shooting in Norway, earthquakes in New Zealand, civil unrest in the Middle-East and a gigantic earthquake, tsunami and nuclear scare in Japan. All major disasters and dramatic events, where Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers were asked to provide psychosocial support to survivors and family members. Some National Societies were well prepared; others realized they were not. Occasions like these caused every society to reflect on how they could improve their preparedness.
Staff and volunteers across the globe provide important psychosocial support every day. Not only in response to disasters, armed conflicts and mass shootings, but also in social programmes for slum-dwellers, with victims of violence or accidents, with elderly and isolated people, with people stigmatized because of illness and prejudice and with refugees and asylum-seekers.