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Mental Health Epidemiology


Moreover, 85% of the EMR population is or has been (in the past quarter century) in a complex emergency situation resulting in a high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Since 2010, the region has witnessed economic and political unrest. The latter were seen in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen. Currently, Syria is in a state of civil war. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Somalia frequently experience disturbances as well. Conflict predisposes a population to the development of mental disorders. Stressors of war include loss (human or material) and grief, safety concerns, disruption of the fabric of society, loss of identity, and potential discrimination with displacement.

Research on the epidemiology and burden of mental health disorders in the EMR as well as mental health interventions are scarce. Improved understanding of the burden and the risk factors of mental health disorders help to prevent them and prevent the associated morbidity and disability. Therefore, there is a need to build the capacity of health workers about these conditions so that they can plan and implement interventions that help to reduce the burden associated with mental health disorders. A focused training on mental health disorders that accommodates the specific needs of countries in EMR is expected to have a considerable impact on reducing the burden of mental health disorders and the development and implementation of action plans to control and prevent mental health disorders and their risk factors.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the epidemiology of mental health problems and their determinants as they affect adults, adolescents, and children
  2. Evaluate the measures of mental disorders burden and their application from monitoring to policy evaluation
  3. Compare mental health services and the barriers to these services
  4. Describe the diversity of mental health and psychosocial issues in complex emergencies and the role of cultural and contextual factors influencing mental health and psychosocial support problems
  5. Design, conduct, and interpret quantitative mental health research studies
  6. Plan and design effective, efficient, culturally sensitive, and ethical mental health interventions and mental health promotion actions

Training Courses

Participants in this program complete the following five courses:

  1. Epidemiology of Mental Health Disorders
  2. Mental Health Programs and Interventions
  3. Mental Health in Complex Emergencies
  4. Research in Mental Health
  5. Applied Research in Non-Communicable Diseases

Field Work

Participants spend seven weeks in the field in order to be exposed to real-life situations and to familiarize them with epidemiology of mental health disorders in order to apply and practice the skills they gain with the guidance of a dedicated mentor. Participants will be asked to select and work on a mental health project from the following options:

Option 1. Conduct a study in a specific topic of interest in mental health (e.g., eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, mania, intimate partner abuse, child abuse, suicide, etc.).

Option 2. Students will identify one community-based mental health promotion/prevention program. The program may focus on behavior change, changing local environments, public education, or developing new policies. The program can be through a local health agency or non-profit organization. Describe the purpose of the program, its target population, and major activities or components of the program. Include a critical analysis of the program with respect to its significance, approach, content, and effectiveness in preventing illness and promoting mental health (e.g., barriers to access, appropriateness of factors targeted etc.).

Option 3. Develop a mental health promotion/prevention program targeting one of the mental health issues. Each individual will be required to submit a paper summarizing the background, significance, intervention and a plan for implementation and evaluation.

Option 4. In order to reduce the burden of neuropsychiatric disorders, it is important to obtain valid and reliable information about a country’s mental health system. Unfortunately, a number of Arab countries are handicapped by the lack of information available on their mental health systems. Problems caused by a lack of information include a deficient planning process, impeded accountability, incapacity to monitor the change promoted by mental health reforms, and the potential for developing ad hoc solutions before understanding the situation. WHO-AIMS is a WHO instrument that was specifically designed for the needs of developing mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries as well as services and support for people with mental disorders that are provided outside the psychiatric services sector, such as mental health in primary care. WHO-AIMS consists of six domains: policy and legislative framework, mental health services, mental health in primary care, human resources, public information and links with other sectors, and monitoring and research. These domains address the ten recommendations of the World Health Report 2001 (through 28 facets and 155 items).

Targeted Group

The target audience for this program includes health workers, project managers, researchers, policy makers at all levels, and other relevant persons interested in mental health disorders.

Training Delivery method

  1. In-class method
  2. Blended learning method
  • Number of Coursers: 5
  • Duration: 3 Months

Accredited By


Participant who complete the stand alone course will be awarded a Certificate of Course Completion.

Courses in this Program


Epidemiology of Mental Health Disorders

  • Duration 30 Learning Hours
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Mental Health Programs and Interventions

  • Duration 30 Learning Hours
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Mental Health in Complex Emergencies

  • Duration 30 Learning Hours
View Course

Research in Mental Health

  • Duration 30 Learning Hours
View Course

Applied Research in Noncommunicable Diseases

  • Duration 30 Learning Hours
View Course