On October 7 and 8 Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, organizes an international conference in Amsterdam on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in crisis situations. Cordaid, working on this topic in Iraq, fully endorses the minister’s aim to make mental health and psychosocial support an integral part of humanitarian responses.
(Sinjar hospital, Northern Iraq. Dr. Muhazim Muhammed, psychiatrist, receives a patient and her child and. On the left a Cordaid social worker. © Cordaid/Mickael Franci)
Urgency of mental health and psychosocial support
Mental wellbeing is crucial for reconstructing affected areas, fighting poverty and reducing gender-based violence. Moreover, providing mental and psychosocial support makes emergency aid more effective.
Humanitarian organizations are already doing everything they can. But it’s not enough. Worldwide, there is a major shortage of healthcare providers and specialists.
Cordaid in Iraq
This is why, for the last couple of years, Cordaid has been implementing a mental health and psychosocial support program in Iraq. We address the needs of IDPs and returnees who were traumatized by ISIS brutalities as well as affected host communities. This link provides stories and a video of our MHPSS work in Iraq.
Cordaid shares minister Kaag’s belief that mental health and psychosocial support should be recognized as a basic need. It is, as the conference’s web page says, ‘just as important as food, water, and shelter and should be a standard part of humanitarian response in crisis situations’.
Read more about the conference.