This enormous increase in providing care for mental health illustrates the shift in our approach as well as the diverse and complex psychological needs people face in myriad contexts, from war-wounded and traumatised children in the Middle East, to families fleeing conflict and making perilous journeys across Africa, Central America, and the Mediterranean Sea.
A lack of services
“As there are almost no providers in the contexts where we work, we often have to create our own mental health programmes,” says Marcos Moyano, MSF mental health advisor. “I recently visited our projects in Greece, where we provide specialised mental health support for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.
“The suffering these people have been exposed to and the level of their mental health needs are amongst the highest we have ever seen. But there are very few organisations who provide specialised care to these people,” says Moyano.
In addition to the lack of services, come taboos, stigmas and suspicion surrounding mental health in many parts of the world. We have to work with communities to spread awareness and educate people on the importance of mental health. Despite the varying challenges, whether providing support in emergencies or treating people affected by war and conflict, treating mental health needs across the world remain a priority for our teams.