Module 5: Psychosocial support

In addition to developing the language competences of students from migrant backgrounds and ensuring they are making good progress generally, it is equally important that schools attend to students’ social, emotional and mental well-being. Newly arrived migrant students, in particular, have to acquire a new language, adapt to new academic routines as well as deal with unfamiliar experiences in the wider community.

What is this module about?

Psychosocial support builds internal and external resources for children and their families to cope with adversity. It supports families to provide for children’s physical, economic, educational, health and social needs. Psychosocial support also helps build resilience in children. All children need psychosocial support for their psychological and emotional wellbeing, as well as their physical and mental development. Some children need additional, specific psychosocial support if they have experienced extreme trauma or adversity or are not receiving necessary caregiver support. Psychosocial support promote five essential principles:

  • A sense of safety
  • Calming
  • Self- and community efficacy
  • Social connectedness
  • Hope

Why is psychosocial support in school important?

Traditionally a place of learning, now amidst an environment of violence, a school may provide safety and stability for displaced girls and boys. In addition to academic learning, refugee or IDP children may be able to play with their peers, trust adults, and envision a positive future. They may be reminded of their cultural identity, as teachers reinforce identification with their language, cultures and national or ethnic groups. In emergencies, schools may also offer children an escape from physical harm and other dangers.


  • Pérusse, R., Goodnough, G. E., & Lee, V. V. (2009). Group Counseling in the Schools. Psychology in the schools, 46(3), 225 - 231.
  • Herring, Roger D., & American Counseling Association. (1998). Career Counseling in Schools : Multicultural and Developmental Perspectives. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
  • Learning Portal. (2021). The psychosocial school environment.
  • UNESCO. Psychosocial Support for Elementary School-ages Children.
  • Duckworth, A., Gendler, T. S., & Gross, J. J. (2014). Self-Control in School-Age Children. Educational Psychologist, 49(3).
  • Curletto, A. (n.d.). How To Model & Teach The Art Of Self-Control In Your Classroom. James Stanfield.
  • Venables, E., Whitehouse, K., Spissu, C., Pizzi, L., Al Rousan, A., & di Carlo, S. (2021). Roles and responsibilities of cultural mediators. FMR, 66.
  • European Centre for Modern Languages. (2004). Cultural mediation in language learning and teaching. Council of Europe Publishing.
  • Aronson, R.E., Lovelace, K., Hatch, J. W., & Whitehead, T. L. (2013). Strengthening Communities and the Roles of Individuals in Building Community Life. Oxford University Press.
  • Spectrum. (2017). Strengthening Your Community.
  • Mun Refugee Challenge. (n.d.). Social inclusion of refugees.
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Module Includes

  • 5 Lessons
  • 30 Topics
  • 6 Quizzes