An Invisible Crisis: Exploring Mental Health Needs in the Syrian and Iraqi Crisis

An Invisible Crisis: Exploring Mental Health Needs in the Syrian and Iraqi Crisis

Médecins du Monde (MdM) marked World Mental Health Day (October 10th) with their latest publication highlighting the MHPSS needs of people affected by the protracted Syrian and Iraqi crises. The report offers recommendations and solutions for next steps.

Armed conflict and natural disasters pose significant challenges to the long-term mental health and psychosocial well-being of affected populations. The Middle East has long been plagued by war and conflict, resulting in mass loss of life, displacement, and cross-generational changes to traditional familial and societal structures. The results can be devastating to the emotional well-being of affected populations throughout the region with notable increases in the prevalence of common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. There is a pressing need for high-quality mental health and psychosocial support services provision.

Médecins du Monde (MdM) is excited to share their latest publication to mark World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and in order to shed light on the important mental health and psychosocial needs of people who have been plagued by the protracted Syrian and Iraqi crises. This publication calls upon international and regional decision-makers to consider a response to mental health needs as a priority.

Entitled “An Invisible Crisis: Exploring Mental Health Needs in the Syrian and Iraqi Crises”. It highlights the numerous challenges to quality service provision, along with the organisation’s response to mental health needs, and recommendations for international and regional decision-makers including: 

  1. Advocating and working towards mental health policies that support adequate funding for mental health care and government support
  2. Legislation to protect the rights of people with mental disorders and vulnerable communities
  3. Advocating for multi-year funding to support the sustainability of MHPSS programs
  4. Creating capacity building opportunities consistent with the IASC guidelines and supported with continuous supervision

Cover Photo: © Olivier Papegnies



Health promotion
Policy and legislation
Training, education and capacity building
Treatment, care and rehabilitation
All mental health conditions
Middle East
Humanitarian and conflict health
Minority populations
Primary care