In line with International Medical Corps’ global approach, we work in partnership with relevant ministries of national governments and the World Health Organization to develop country-specific mental health programming based on an assessment of existing health systems and strategies.

We use a comprehensive approach to adapt training materials to the local context, provide both theoretical training and supervision, support institutional capacity building and evaluate results to inform policy, practice and scale-up.

Integration of mental health services into general health care improves the availability, quality, acceptability and accessibility of mental health care. It reduces costs for–and stigma towards–service users. It is effectively an investment for all sectors, since improving the overall well-being of communities can enhance economic development and societal welfare. From the start, International Medical Corps works to maximize the use of existing government health care infrastructure and other resources consistent with national capacities and strategies. This helps promote sustainability and a smooth transition from emergency response conditions to longer term development. Continuous policy dialogue with government and key stakeholders is necessary to maintain the supplies of medicines, achieve consistent and uninterrupted supervision, and coherent annual planning.

International Medical Corps understands that integration is most successful when mental health is incorporated into health policy and legislative initiatives that are backed by adequate resources.

Our Response

International Medical Corps aims to strengthen mental health and psychosocial services through integration into PHC and community services by training healthcare staff and paraprofessionals to provide mental healthcare and expand community and family supports. By training non-specialized health care providers to identify and manage priority conditions consistent with recommendations by the World Health Organization, International Medical Corps has been implementing programs integrating mental health into general health care for more than ten years in over 13 countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Nepal, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey). To close the gap between those who need mental health services and those who have access to them, integrating mental health into Primary Health Care in humanitarian settings is a critical and evidence based approach.

Highlights & Resources

• Evaluated and documented the integration of mental health into general health care using WHO mhGAP-IG Intervention Guidelines. Using a mixed methods approach to evaluate programming in the Philippines, South Sudan and Central African Republic, IMC 2016 Mental Health Integration into General Health Care: A Step Wise Approach lays out guidance on a 6 step approach to integrate mental health care in humanitarian settings. Read more here.

• Collaborated with key national stakeholders from health ministries and iNGO partners during workshops with the three program countries. International Medical Corps has now been funded to develop a Toolkit for Implementing Mental Health Programs as part of the health system in humanitarian settings. The toolkit will clearly outline the steps for implementing integrated mental health programs in humanitarian settings and will provide valuable guidance for better resource allocation, program design, implementation and evaluation. Find more details here.

The integration of mental health into primary health care in Lebanon – Zeinab Hijazi, Inka Weissbecker & Rabih Chammay

Policy Brief: An integrated approach to strengthening mental health services in the Middle East

Infographic: Filling the Gap: Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in the Middle East through an Integrated Approach

For over ten years, our programs have prioritized the integration of mental health into general health care.

We use a comprehensive approach to mental health integration, integrating mental health into primary health in more than 14 countries.

Additional Resources