Mental health

WHO and UNHCR issue new Guide on mental health in humanitarian emergencies

A child receiving medical care in a field clinic in the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta.

5 May 2015 - The mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide, released today, contains first-line management recommendations for mental, neurological and substance use conditions for non-specialist health-care providers working in humanitarian emergencies.

The Guide will help accelerate the provision of mental health care to children and adults in countries impacted by humanitarian emergencies such as Syria, Yemen, and more recently Nepal.

Responding to the Ebola mental health crisis


Ebola-affected communities in West Africa are experiencing intense fear and suffering. People are separated from loved ones due to illness or death. Health workers deal with risks to their own health. Those associated with Ebola are often victims of severe social stigma, increasing their levels of distress and isolation.
In response, WHO has sent leading public mental health experts to the affected countries, and adapted and disseminated its psychological first-aid guide for Ebola and related training materials.

MiNDbank – national policies, strategies and laws from around the world

This new online platform brings together key international resources and national policies, strategies, laws and service standards for mental health, substance abuse, general health, disability, human rights and development.

MiNDbank will facilitate debate, dialogue, advocacy and research in order to promote national reform in line with international human rights and best practice standards.

Launch of the Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, described the new Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020 as a landmark achievement: it focuses international attention on a long-neglected problem and is firmly rooted in the principles of human rights. The action plan calls for changes. It calls for a change in the attitudes that perpetuate stigma and discrimination that have isolated people since ancient times, and it calls for an expansion of services in order to promote greater efficiency in the use of resources.


WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)

The WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) aims at scaling up services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders for countries especially with low and middle income.

Latest publications

mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (mhGAP-HIG)

This guide contains first-line management recommendations for mental, neurological and substance use conditions for non-specialist health-care providers. It is a simple, practical tool to support general health facilities in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies.

Thinking healthy

This manual outlines an evidence-based approach describing how community health workers can reduce prenatal depression through evidence-based cognitive-behavioural techniques recommended by the mhGAP programme.

WHO MIND Project