Provision of psychosocial support to refugees

Provision of psychosocial support to refugees

EPAPSY as a direct partner of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) started as from November 2019 implementing a programme of psychosocial community intervention under the title “Community Psychosocial Workforce”, co-funded by the European Union. Community Psychosocial Workers (CPWs) make up a specially trained workforce of refugees and asylum seekers that provides core psychosocial support to other refugees and asylum seekers in their mother tongues. The group which aims at bridging the gap between community and professional/institutional provision of mental healthcare, is supervised by specialized psychologists and social workers.

Who are they addressed to and who do they provide services to?
Community Psychosocial Workers provide services to adult refugees and asylum seekers residing in accommodation provided within the ESTIA programme or accommodation of their own, and who:

  • suffer from mental diseases
  • suffer from a mental disorder related to a certain disability (mental or physical) or some other special need
  • are aged and in need of psychosocial care
  • are vulnerable beings in need for further care to be able to develop mechanisms to cope with everyday living issues.


What do CPWs do?
Community Psychosocial Workers’ tasks include:

  • psychological assessment and identification of needs
  • core psychosocial support, active listening, and provision of emotional support
  • training on the development of coping mechanisms for people with disabilities
  • empowerment of people with special needs via sessions of self-help
  • organization of co-mediation sessions for local government employees and NGO staff
  • referral to and link with actors providing specialized care, when needed


Where do CPWs work?
Community Psychosocial Workers provide:

  • home visits
  • personal and group sessions at various actors’ premises
  • services online, given the pandemic restrictions on social distancing


How to refer beneficiaries in need of psychosocial support provided by CPWs?
Please contact Mr. Charis Vazoukis for more information regarding the referral process via e-mail at or phone at (+30) 6932415956


Psychosocial Support Helpline
This is a phone helpline for support during the pandemic COVID-19 that started functioning in May 2020 for the provision of direct psychosocial support aimed at facilitating the access to needed services. The helpline works with the valuable contribution of trained Community Psychosocial Workers (CPWs), Monday to Friday, 11.00 to 19.00, in Arabic, French and Farsi.

  • For support in Arabic of French please call 6936514113 (available for Whatsapp & Viber), and we can call you back
  • For support in Farsi please call 6936514120 (available for Whatsapp & Viber), and we can call you back


The provided services include:

  • psychosocial support
  • provision of information regarding announcements by state actors on measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic
  • links to actors providing further protection and psychosocial support services in Athens and Thessaloniki
  • referrals to psychologists and psychiatrists or, in case of emergency, to state actors
  • links to a support network and relevant NGOs


Collaboration with the HAN University
As from September 2020 there is a collaboration between Community Psychosocial Workers active in the framework of EPAPSY activities, and students of the HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands enrolled in the programme Health & Community Development – Global Health, aimed at co-developing a joint project for the programme’s beneficiaries.