An overwhelming majority of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities are living in poverty, poor physical health, and are subject to human rights violations.
Survivors of conflicts and disasters are at higher risk for psychological distress and mental health conditions due to continued and overwhelming chaos and uncertainty, as well as the enormity of their loss that often includes homes, community, loved ones and livelihoods.
As communities recover and as development begins, we need to invest in longer term responses, to help strengthen mental health care systems and shape national policies. In a crisis, mental health issues cannot be considered in isolation from other areas of humanitarian support, such as education, health, emergency responses and human rights capacity building, and should be part of the response.
The first mental health support is usually delivered through psychosocial programs for children in schools by groups such as the Education Cannot Wait Fund.
In the broader community, organisations like the International Medical Corps - one of the few international relief organizations to prioritize prevention and treatment of mental health and psychosocial needs in humanitarian crises- will try and meet the needs despite their limited mental health funding.
In the longer term, when groups are considering rehabilitation and return to their homelands, mental health is a critical service that is being included in rehabilitation plans by groups like Nadia Murad’s Sinjar Action Fund to ensure Yazidi genocide survivors have the necessary support to cope with their grief and resume daily life when they return to Sinjar.
Demi Lovato meets a young refugee girl in Iraq
Stand with Global Citizen's Ambassador for Mental Health, Demi Lovato and help us call on governments and other donors to prioritize long term and systematic prevention and treatment of mental health and psychosocial needs in humanitarian crises through investments in these key programs and organisations