Contact Us

Mental Health in Complex Emergencies


This course helps trainees to establish mental health or psychosocial programs in a humanitarian context within conflict and post-conflict areas. The course teaches on key public health actions/considerations related to mental health in emergencies. In this course, participants will increase their understanding of the psychosocial and mental health issues of refugees and learn how to implement effective interventions. It aims to provide a practical orientation on how to conduct rapid assessments and design and set up mental health services or psychosocial programs. It addresses the issues of cultural validity, programming for children, addressing severe mental disorders, gender-based violence, human rights, taking care of oneself and dealing with burnout. This course emphasizes the well-being of the beneficiaries as considered in the 2007 IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings as endorsed by WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, IFRC, and numerous local and international agencies working in the field of psychosocial assistance.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe mental health and psychosocial needs and interventions in complex emergencies
  2. 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
  3. Apply the IASC guidelines on mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings
  4. Describe the principles of assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial support problems in emergency contexts including familiarity with WHO/UNHCR MHPSS assessment tools
  5. Define the various roles of mental health professionals, psychosocial professionals, and nonspecialized mental health and psychosocial support workers in different emergency contexts
  6. Outline the principles of establishing programs in the mental health and psychosocial domains

Course Outline

  1. The psychosocial and mental health consequences of war and violence
  2. Emergency nutrition and psychosocial needs
  3. Evidence-based mental health and psychosocial interventions in complex emergencies
  4. Setting up mental health and psychosocial programs in emergencies
  5. The roles of mental health and psychosocial professionals in emergency contexts
  6. The IASC guidelines for mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings
  7. Community based psychosocial programming for children and adolescents in humanitarian
  8. Needs Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation
  9. Cross cultural issues, human rights, conflict resolution
  10. Implications for working with various cultures and contexts
  11. Mental health services or psychosocial programs
  12. Personal security, logistics, and practical aspects of humanitarian work in the field
  13. Culturally sensitive interviewing skills

Training delivery methods

  1. In-class method
  2. Online method
  • Duration: 30 Learning Hours

Accredited By


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