Psychosocial support

Find out what our psychosocial and mental health team does, plus how you can get and give support for psychological and emotional issues.

What is psychosocial support?

The British Red Cross responds to hundreds of UK emergencies every year – from major floods to house fires and transport accidents. Any crisis can affect people’s own sense of wellbeing as well as their connections with family, friends, colleagues and their community.

Psychosocial support helps support people to care for themselves and for their relationships with others. This helps people feel safe and better able to deal with a crisis.



How the psychosocial team works

The British Red Cross psychosocial and mental health team helps both the people affected by crises, and the Red Cross staff and volunteers who support them. Working through a team of trained psychosocial staff and volunteers provides a range of services including one-to-one support, resources, education and referrals to other services. 

We can support anyone giving or receiving a service within the Red Cross, from emergency response to refugee casework. Our support helps people deal with and recover from difficult experiences.

Resources for everyone

Our videos will help you find support to deal with everyday and major emergencies.

If you are feeling the impact of recent events, our wellbeing guide can help. The wellbeing guide is also available in Arabic, Bosnian, French, Portuguese and Ukrainian.

If you have family or friends caught up in any of the current crises, these online brochures may help you cope at this stressful time. These resources may also help:


Safe conversations around suicide

It can be distressing when you have concerns about someone who is considering taking their own life.

Discussing your concerns may feel unsettling, although being open and honest is often the first step in supporting someone at risk. 

Either way, it's important to remember that you are not alone, and that there are others in your life - both personal and professional - to support you.

Basic introduction to psychosocial support

A playlist for people who would like to gain an overview of psychosocial support and the way it can be used to help people in crisis.

An introduction to giving basic psychosocial support 

If you'd like to deepen your awareness of psychosocial support, our playlist provides an introduction to providing emotional support to people in crisis.

Resources for practitioners

Use our resources to build your skills to better support those you work with as practitioners.

How you can help people in crisis

Our online resources can help you help others. When someone is going through a crisis, listening with kindness is a good place to start. You can also take the C.A.L.M.E.R. approach – this easy acronym will help you remember some simple steps to take when you or someone you know feels anxious or stressed.

And if you are feeling lonely, the Red Cross has services and online support that can help.

Either way, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there are others in your life – both personal and professional – to support you. 

Read: how to support young refugees, by British Red Cross head of psychosocial support, Sarah Davidson

More information

Emotional and psychological support.

Get advice  on caring for your mental health.

Get help coping with loneliness and building confidence.