International Medical Corps plays a leading role in informing, responding to and coordinating mental health and psychosocial support programming in emergencies.
We contribute to the development of global guidelines and national policies for improving mental health and well-being among affected populations. We stress the importance of including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in relief and development programs, and regularly engage at global and national level meetings with governments, international organizations, policymakers and donors.
International Medical Corps has been a contributor to and peer reviewer of global MHPSS guidelines and manuals, in addition to co-authoring peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on MHPSS in humanitarian settings. We have considerable expertise in MHPSS coordination and mapping in emergency conditions. Since 2007, we have co-taught the annual Mental Health in Complex Emergencies (MHCE) courses organized by Fordham University, Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC) and HealthNet TPO, with lectures from UNHCR and representation from experts at the WHO and Columbia University.
International Medical Corps aims to build sustainable local capacities and provide comprehensive, integrated and community-based mental health services and psychosocial support activities that promote the resilience and overall well-being of vulnerable refugees, internally displaced people and host populations. Our vision is to improved access and availability of evidence-based, high-quality and culturally sensitive mental health services and psychosocial support for populations affected by conflict and crisis. In line with the IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in emergency settings, we contribute to and establish coordination mechanisms to promote best practices, information sharing and joint planning. We have partnered with WHO to pilot scalable psychological interventions and participate in the development of WHO guidelines, including on mental health for general health professionals (mhGAP-IG). We also are supporting recommendations to ministries of health about integrating mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies.
Highlights & Resources
• In 2014, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with WHO, UNICEF and International Medical Corps, launched the first national mental health program to reform the mental health system and expand services. Read more.
• International Medical Corps’ Dr. Inka Weissbecker was a co-author of this position paper, in conjunction with the World Bank and other groups. The paper outlines the challenges of the current crisis of forced displacement and explores the economic and social impact of mental disorders within a displaced population. Read more.
We developed 11 international Medical Corps MHPSS standards to support our program quality and accountability.
We celebrate World Mental Health Day each October 10th, supporting country programs in organizing community advocacy events.