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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 239-242

Mental health and psychosocial support in conflict situations in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: ideals and practice

(Retired) Professor of Psychiatry at Bangalore, India. He currently holds the post of Mental Health Advisor to the State of Karnataka, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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In the Middle East mental health and psychosocial support systems are underdeveloped. Seven critical factors are identified that hinder the initiation of well functioning mental health and psychosocial intervention programmes: 1) shortage of national professional leadership; 2) absence of infrastructure to support mental health and psychosocial programmes; 3) stigma around mental disorders; 4) multiple models of intervention; 5) lack of funding; 6) competing interests of non governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN organizations; and 7) insufficient political will and instability. Some of these obstacles will be addressed by the availability of the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, but there is also a need for focussed and planned action to address the other factors.

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