Mental Health in Complex Emergencies

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Mental Health in Complex Emergencies

Mental Health in Complex Emergencies

September 16 to 26, 2018

Kampala, Uganda

The Mental Health in Complex Emergencies Course is an intensive multidisciplinary ten-day training course for mental health workers and humanitarian program staff who wish to gain insight and competency in establishing mental health or psychosocial programs in (post) conflict areas or in areas affected by complex disasters including refugee settings.

In the first week, the course will provide practical orientation and training to equip participants to establish and organize programs in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and strengthen adjunct applicable skills for use in complex humanitarian emergencies and relief operations, such as needs assessments, monitoring and evaluation, understanding the humanitarian context, security, and self-care. In the second week, students may choose from a number of three-day workshops in which particular topics relevant to humanitarian emergencies will be explored in depth, facilitated by specialists.

Through this course, students will be exposed to both the most recent academic thought on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) as well as the experiences of field practitioners in designing and implementing MHPSS programs in complex emergencies. Students are sensitized to the non-material, social aspects of humanitarian assistance and will be able to take into account the psychosocial context when planning humanitarian assistance. This course emphasizes the well-being of the beneficiaries as considered in the 2007 'IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings' as endorsed by WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, IFRC, and numerous local and international agencies working in the field of psychosocial assistance.

The course is organized by the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA of Fordham University in New York, in collaboration with humanitarian partners: UNHCR, the refugee agency of the United Nations and the International Medical Corp, and Peter C. Alderman Program for Global Mental Health, the mental health program of HealthRight International.


Students can take each of our short courses for academic credit, or they can choose to receive no academic credit for their participation.

For those who wish to receive academic credit, the tuition for each short course is $1,600 USD*. There is an additional student fee of $293 USD charged once per semester. Thus, the total cost for one short course would be $1,893 USD and if a second course is taken within the same semester, the cost of the second course would be $1,600 USD. Upon successful completion of each course, participants are entitled to 2 academic credits through Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). These credits are accepted towards our MIHA program or can be applied to the MIHA program at a later time if you wish to apply in the future; the credits may also be accepted by other academic institutions. Students seeking academic credit will be required to submit a research paper (1,400-1,600 words) due one month after the conclusion of the course in accordance with the guidelines provided by the IIHA Senior Fellow.

For those who do not wish to receive formal academic credit, the tuition for each short course has been reduced to $915 USD. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance for the program but will receive no formal academic recognition.

The choice to receive academic credit must be made before the course begins and cannot be upgraded at a later date. The program cost includes the tuition and coffee breaks. It does not include accommodation, meals, or transportation costs.

Learn More:

To learn more about this course, please view the individual Course Listing on our website. For a complete list of IIHA courses, view the Course Calendar on our website. If you have questions, please contact for more information.

The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University offers humanitarian training courses in various locations around the world. With the creation of a Master's in Humanitarian Action (MIHA), the Institute offers a flexible yet academically rigorous training model for aid practitioners looking to further their knowledge and skills in the humanitarian sector.


I attended this course MHCE-14 (Mental Health In Complex Emergencies in Kampala and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was exciting and learnt a lot within 10 days from the trainers and participants from different nationalities and professional backgrounds working either in humanitarian settings with NGOs or in non-humanitarian settings. The highlight in my Culture and Context group was the fieldwork we conducted at a local market place where members of the public fully engaged in the data collection. Our main finding was that Mental Health services need to be integrated to improve awareness and psychosocial wellbeing of the general public. Poor security, high costs and ineffective treatment of people suffering from mental health issues were other issues raised by members of the public who were interviewed during the brief data collection exercise. This shows that a gap still exists in mental health services and more need to be done especially in developing countries to reduce the gap and increase access and awareness.

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