How one Syrian in Iraq trained to provide mental health support to other refugees
A hidden health issue worldwide
Mental health care|Trauma support|Psychosocial training
Mental illness is one of the great invisible health issues in all societies, accounting for four out of the ten leading causes of disability worldwide.
Yet in low-income countries, there is an average of just one psychiatrist for every two million people and psychologists or social workers are also in short supply. During emergencies the percentage of those suffering common mental disorders doubles from 10 to 20 per cent, while those with pre-existing and severe mental illnesses often have no access to care.
International Medical Corps is one of the very few organisations to make mental health care a priority. We have the capacity to respond to mental health and psychosocial needs of people who have been caught up in conflicts or natural disasters. Our world renowned experts also specialise in training and strengthening mental health systems in low resource countries.
In the Middle East we recently launched a regional initiative that will bring mental health and psychosocial support to displaced Syrians in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Strengthening national health systems by training medical and non-medical professionals to handle increased demands for mental health and psychosocial services triggered by the Middle East's biggest refugee crisis.
In West Africa our teams of psychosocial support workers are helping survivors of Ebola to reintegrate into their families and communities. By addressing their feelings of grief, guilt and the helping them to overcome the stigma associated with Ebola, we are helping survivors to rebuild their lives.
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Mental health care in emergencies 'not an optional luxury'
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