Sustaining mental health care after emergencies

August 2013

A family stands outside their makeshift tent in a refugee camp in Somalia
K. Holt

Emergencies, in spite of their tragic nature and adverse effects on mental health, are opportunities to build better mental health systems for those who need it. This is important because mental health is crucial to the overall well-being, functioning, and resilience of individuals, societies and countries recovering from emergencies.

The WHO publication, “Building back better: sustainable mental health care after emergencies”, raises awareness about this type of opportunity, and describes how it was achieved in 10 diverse emergency-affected areas. Lessons learnt and key overlapping practices emerging from these experiences are summarized.

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