Mental health in emergencies


At an event for Syrian refugees on World Health Day in Gaziantep, Turkey, a refugee girl performs in a skit about moods and mental health.

The mental health programme of WHO/Europe supports countries to prepare for and respond to health emergencies by providing coordination and technical guidance. It also aims to systematically improve knowledge and skills for providing mental health and psychosocial support through training and community engagement. Most of this work is currently focused on 2 countries: Turkey and Ukraine.

In Turkey, the WHO field office in Gaziantep has facilitated trainings in the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) for Syrian and Turkish general practitioners, community health workers and mental health staff to empower them in identifying and treating common psychological conditions.

In Ukraine, where ongoing conflict poses an increased risk to population mental health, WHO/Europe is providing support to the Ministry of Health’s mental health reform programme and to a number of mobile mental health teams in affected communities.