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Mental Health

As one of the very few international relief organizations to make mental health care a priority, International Medical Corps has the capacity to address the immediate psychosocial needs of communities struck by disaster as well as identify and treat those with pre-existing mental health disorders.

We achieved significant breakthroughs recently in its fight for comprehensive mental health care - historically one of the great neglected burdens of developing societies - by:

  • launching a large-scale, regional initiative that will bring mental health and psychosocial support to Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria and also train medical professionals in all three countries to handle increased demands for mental health and psychosocial services triggered by the Middle East's biggest refugee crisis in two generations. The size of the program reflects a new recognition of the importance of caring for the emotional as well as the physical needs of refugees. 
  • completing an innovative pilot study in northern Uganda that linked live saving supplementary feeding programs of malnourished children with improving maternal spirits and mother-child interaction, speeding recovery beyond that seen in traditional feeding programs, and replicating the project at a Somali refugee camp in Ethiopia.
Mental illness is one of the great invisible burdens on developing societies, accounting for four of the 10 leading causes of disability worldwide.  In emergencies, the problem is even greater, as the number of people suffering from severe mental disorders increases and those with pre-existing mental illnesses are exposed to new levels of stress.  International Medical Corps understands the devastating effect that mental illness has on the world’s poorest nations. As part of its holistic approach to health, International Medical Corps incorporates mental health and well-being into its programs to address the psychosocial needs of disaster survivors and help those with pre-existing mental disorders.  A leader in mental health care in emergency settings, we have implemented mental health programs throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as in the United States following Hurricane Katrina.

mhGAP: An International Medical Corps & World Health Organization Collaboration

Slideshow: A Ground-breaking Move for Mental Health Services in Kabul, Afghanistan

For More Information and Hard Copies of our Published Studies:

Inka Weissbecker


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