The Mental Health Integration Toolkit: An initiative to improve mental health integration programs within humanitarian settings

Mental illness is the main cause of disability worldwide and certain populations, like those living within humanitarian conflicts are especially at risk for developing mental health problems due to increased exposure to violence, loss and instability. integrating mental health services within general care in these settings has the potential to address the inaccessibility of appropriate mental health services in countries affected by humanitarian crises1

Despite the existence of global guidelines and resources on how to implement integrated mental health problems, there is a need for increased understanding, dissemination and uptake. The International Medical Corps' developed a Toolkit with the aim to increase the understanding of integrated mental health program steps, components, resources and tools among implementing partners, donors and governments. It clearly outlines the steps for integrated mental health programs in humanitarian settings and provides valuable guidance for better resource allocation, program design, contextualization, implementation and evaluation.

In this podcast, Ashley Leichner (Senior Global Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Officer at IMC), Zeinab Hijazi (Mental Health Psychosocial Support Specialist at UNICEF) and Famhy Hanna (Technical Officer at WHO Dept of Mental Health and Substance Abuse) share key insights of the design, development and future implications of the Toolkit. Tune in to listen to how the Toolkit addresses the need for improved mental health service delivery within low-income humanitarian settings, how IMC's own expertise in the field informed the conceptualization of the Toolkit and how an online navigation system for ease of use and facilitating consolidated integration processes was built into the Toolkit.

References:

World Health Organization. (2008). Scaling up care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders.  Mental Health Gap Action Program. Geneva, Switzerland.

Song credit

Orange Sunshine by Rod Hamilton and Tiffany Seal licensed under Creative Commons

Related resources:

  • TOOLKITIntegration of Mental Health into General Healthcare in Humanitarian Settings
  • BLOG: Read about how the Toolkit was developed and its implications for mental health integration
  • FORUM: Discuss the Toolkit, ask questions or comment on related topics
  • ABOUT THE TOOLKIT: Read more about the process for developing the toolkit
Approach: 
Task sharing
Prevention and promotion
Detection and diagnosis
Treatment, care and rehabilitation
Training, education and capacity building
Disorder: 
All disorders
Population: 
Humanitarian and conflict health
Region: 
Africa
Middle East
Central America and the Caribbean
South America
Asia
Oceania
Setting: 
Community
Primary care
Specialist care
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