The primary goal of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) is to enable the conduct of United Nations (UN) activities while ensuring the safety, security and well-being of personnel. The conditions under which UNSMS personnel operate in the field have changed drastically over the years, particularly in light of the UN’s shift to a “stay and deliver” approach to operating in high-risk environments. This has substantially increased the number of individuals exposed to stress and critical incident stress. While many individuals who experience stress or critical incident stress are able to resume their daily activities with minimal or no disruption, some may encounter difficulty resuming such activities due to psychological, somatic or social reactions linked to such exposure.

This policy governs the coordination and provision of psycho-social services by Counsellors, contracted or employed by UNSMS organisations, to those who are at risk of experiencing or experiencing stress or critical incident stress. The coordination and provision of such services shall be in accordance with the following principles:
a. The management of stress and critical incident stress shall be conducted in accordance with the principles of immediacy, proximity, and availability of high-quality professional services, which are embodied in the Management of Critical Incident Stress Framework (MCISF) (see Annex A, “Management of Critical Incident Stress Framework (MCISF)”).
b. The management of critical incident stress has three distinct phases:
i. Pre-incident Preparedness
ii. Incident Response
iii. Post-incident Recovery