IMC Mental Health Integration Toolkit
Toolkit for the Integration of Mental Health into General Healthcare in Humanitarian Settings
Integration of Mental Health into General Health Care is not an event, it is a stepwise, long-term process which takes time and varies depending on the context and available resources.
This Toolkit aims to support the understanding and implementation of integrated mental health programs in humanitarian settings. It provides a framework for essential steps and components, with associated key guidance and resources, that strengthen the integration process, and is primarily intended for (1) implementing agencies, but may also be useful for (2) donors, and (3) government actors. Users can access the three steps & three cross cutting components relevant to current program needs, or stages of programming.
An additional section of the toolkit includes resources that provide General Guidance which is foundational to the toolkit. Please use this section as reference as you explore specific steps and components in the toolkit.
For detailed information about the toolkit development process, and its use, read more in the About Section of the toolkit.
The below framework illustrates the structure and use of the mental health integration toolkit. Scroll down for a description of each of the integration steps and cross cutting components in the framework. When ready, click on any of the steps or components to get started.
Successful mental health integration programming happens in three steps, with three integral cross cutting components:
Step 1. Assess & Plan for Mental Health Integration
Conduct a rapid or comprehensive assessment covering contextual information, needs and resources, which helps plan mental health integration programs.
Step 2. Build Capacity of General Healthcare Workers
Use information from the initial assessment (step 1) and identify capacities as well as existing gaps in knowledge and skills among general health workers and other targeted trainees. Plan capacity building activities which can include pre-service trainings (at academic training institutions), foundational theoretical and practical training, and ongoing technical support and supervision.
Step 3. Strengthen Mental Health Services & Systems
Use information from the initial assessment (step 1) and work with trainees targeted for capacity building (step 2) and facility and regional level supervisors to strengthen mental health services and systems. This is a continual process that includes addressing barriers to accessing care and strengthening systems for case identification, service provision by trained and supervised staff, referral pathways, and follow-up mechanisms, as well as ensuring availability of needed materials and supplies (e.g. psychotropic medication).
Cross Cutting Component. Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning.
Use information from your initial assessment and planning (step 1) and your project activities and goals (covering step 2 & step 3 as well as the other two cross cutting components) to develop an effective MEAL system. This supports program managers in tracking progress, making adjustments, discovering unplanned effects of programming, and showing outcomes, while also ensuring accountability to stakeholders through information sharing and feedback mechanisms to improve program implementation.
Cross Cutting Component. Advocate, Coordinate & Network.
Engage stakeholders and participate in coordination mechanisms starting in the early stages of assessment & planning (step 1). This includes communication and collaboration at various levels (national, regional and community). Build effective partnerships, raise awareness and advocate for mental health with key decision makers.
Cross Cutting Component. Sustain Mental Health Services.
Plan for and consider sustainability starting in the early stages of assessment & planning (step 1). This includes sustainability planning in the areas of government and policy, human resources and training, programming and services, research and monitoring, and financing.
An additional section of the toolkit includes resources that provide General Guidance which is foundational to the toolkit.