WHO's response to the lack of available mental health services in low- and middle-income countries: mhGAP

The website of the World Health Organization
(WHO) on the WHO Mental Health Gap Action
Programme (mhGAP) opens by stating
that “mental, neurological, and substance use
disorders are common in all regions of the
world, affecting every community and age group across
all income countries. While 14% of the global burden
of disease is attributed to these disorders, most of the
people affected - 75% in many low-income countries -
do not have access to the treatment they need”.1

Special issue: New frontiers

From the editor: new frontiers
New frontiers in mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in low resource and conflict affected settings
Rethinking mental health care: bridging the credibility gap
Resource caravans and resource caravan passageways: a new paradigm for trauma responding
War experiences, daily stressors and mental health five years on: elaborations and future directions
Addressing collective trauma: conceptualisations and interventions
Using mixed methods to build knowledge of refugee mental health

In search of links between social capital, mental health and sociotherapy: a longitudinal study in Rwanda

To date, reviews show inconclusive results on the association between social capital and mental health. Evidence that social capital can intentionally be promoted is also scarce. Promotion of social capital may impact post-conflict recovery through both increased social cohesion and better mental health. However, studies on community interventions and social capital have mostly relied on cross-sectional study designs.

Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change [Eng]

Research and communications about the impacts of climate change have generally focused on physical impacts, like more extreme storms, rising sea levels, and increasingly severe droughts. Psychological impacts, on the other hand, have received comparatively little attention. The goal of this report is to summarize these and other impacts on human well-being, and provide climate communicators, planners, policymakers, public health officials, and other leaders the tools they need to both respond to these impacts and bolster public engagement around climate change.

Sexual and gender-based violence in areas of armed conflict: a systematic review of mental health and psychosocial support interventions

Sexual and other forms of gender-based violence are common in conflict settings and are known risk factors for mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. We present findings from a systematic review of the academic and grey literature focused on the effectiveness of mental health and psychosocial support interventions for populations exposed to sexual and other forms of gender-based violence in the context of armed conflicts.

Interventions for children affected by war: an ecological perspective on psychosocial support and mental health care

Children and adolescents exposed to armed conflict are at high risk of developing mental health problems. To date, a range of psychosocial approaches and clinical/psychiatric interventions has been used to address mental health needs in these groups.
To provide an overview of peer-reviewed psychosocial and mental health interventions designed to address mental health needs of conflict-affected children, and to highlight areas in which policy and research need strengthening.

Broadening the scope of epidemiology in conflict-affected settings: opportunities for mental health prevention and promotion.

This editorial proposes a shift in emphasis in the field of mental health epidemiology in conflict-affected settings. After a brief summary of the nature of contemporary armed conflicts, we consider the current and potential roles that epidemiology can play with regard to: (1) establishing the burden of mental disorders; (2) identifying risk and protective factors; and (3) intervention research.

Mental health in humanitarian settings: shifting focus to care systems.

Mental health in low- and middle income countries has received increasing attention. This attention has shifted focus, roughly moving from demonstrating the burden of mental health problems, to establishing an evidence base for interventions, to thinking about care delivery frameworks. This paper reviews these trends specifically for humanitarian settings and discusses lessons learned.

Psychological first aid: Facilitator’s manual for orienting field workers


WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

Psychological first aid: Facilitator’s manual for orienting field workers.

l.Crisis intervention - methods. 2.Disasters. 3.Emergency medical services - personnel. 4.Adaptation, Psychological. 5.First aid - psychology. 6.Stress disorders, Traumatic - psychology. 7.Health personnel - education. I.World Health Organization. Il.War Trauma Foundation. III.World Vision International.

ISBN 978 92 4 154861 8    (NLM classification: WM 401)

© World Health Organization 2013

Factors affecting mental health of local staff working in the Vanni region, Sri Lanka

In the aftermath of the civil war that extended from 1983–2009, humanitarian organizations provided aid to the conflict-affected population of the Vanni region in northern Sri Lanka. In August, 2010, a needs assessment was conducted to determine the mental-health status of Sri Lankan national humanitarian aid staff working in conditions of stress and hardship, and consider contextual and organizational characteristics influencing such status.