International Assistance Mission (IAM)

International Assistance Mission (IAM)

The International Assistance Mission (IAM) is a well-respected non-governmental organization working to end stigma surrounding mental health conditions, improve lives and build local capacity in health, development and education in Afghanistan.

Mission statement

The International Assistance Mission (IAM) is the longest continually serving non-profit organisation in Afghanistan. IAM is a non-profit charitable organization through which staff from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and international Christian volunteers serve in partnership to build capacity in the sectors of health and development, working together in hope, for the welfare of the people of Afghanistan.

Summary of relevant work

We want to end the stigma surrounding mental health in Afghanistan and ensure those struggling with mental health conditions have access to the help they need. IAM’s Mental Health Programme is based in the western region of Afghanistan and was started in 1996 in response to high suicide rates among women.


We have projects working in nine areas of Herat province and Lal Va Sare Jingal district of Ghor province with People with Psycho-Social Disability (PPSD) and Children with Psycho-Social Disorder (CPSD).

Four projects: Community Based Mental Health Project (CBMHP), Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Project (CAP), Positive Parenting Project (PPP) and Youth Emotional Resilience Project (YERP) started in 2018 and one project: Mental Health Inclusion Project (MHIP) will start from 1st January 2021.

Three projects (CBMHP, MHIP and CAP) will improve mental health, function, and socioeconomic inclusion by strengthening psychosocial support at family, community, local and secondary health service levels.

Two projects (YERP and PPP)aim to prevent mental health conditions for young people: one by strengthening the emotional resilience of adolescents through a life skills approach and the other by reducing violence against children through encouraging positive, non-violent parenting. The programme aims to change the attitudes, behaviours and relationships of the whole community around mental health and wider, through the media, to promote successes. Working with influential people to advocate for changes in policy and resourcing for community mental health from the Government of Afghanistan, we will make changes sustainable. This programme addresses some of the social determinants of mental health problems and the barriers to full inclusion for people with psychosocial disability in Afghanistan showing the Government of Afghanistan what a country wide community based mental health programme could look like.


In Lal Va Sare Jingal district YERP and PPP activities will not be implemented within the current program cycle.

Key partners


  • Tearfund UK
  • Tearfund Australia
  • European Union
  • Mennonite Centra Committee
  • Mairie de Chene Bougeries 

Seeking collaboration with

Experts by experience/service users
Other organizations
Policy makers


Empowerment and service user involvement
Prevention and promotion
Training, education and capacity building
Treatment, care and rehabilitation
Child behavioural and developmental disorders
Dementia and other neurocognitive disorders
Depression/anxiety/stress-related disorders
Psychosis/bipolar disorder
Children and adolescents
Primary care
Specialist care