: 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 265--278

The integration of mental health into primary health care in Lebanon

Zeinab Hijazi1, Inka Weissbecker2, Rabih Chammay3 
1 Regional Mental Health Coordinator for International Medical Corps in the Middle East; she is finalising her International Masters in Mental Health Policy and Services. She supports country teams and provides guidance and oversight in the development and running of culturally appropriate mental health and psychosocial programmes
2 Global Mental Health and Psychosocial Advisor for International Medical Corps, she has a PhD in clinical psychology and an MPH in Global Health and Population studies. She provides technical support for programmes globally
3 Chammay is a psychiatrist. He teaches at the faculty of medicine at Saint Joseph University in Beirut and is currently the mental health Advisor for IMC in Lebanon, a regional consultant for the Rehabilitation and Research Center for Torture Victims (RCT) and a consultant for WHO, mainly in developing and delivering training from the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP-IG) and in drafting a national mental health strategy for Lebanon

Correspondence Address:

In Lebanon, the International Medical Corps is working to address the multiple needs of Iraqi refugees, as well as the long term needs of the vulnerable host population, by integrating mental health services into primary health care (PHC). Over the past two years, 152 PHC providers (doctors, nurses and social workers) were trained in the identification, management and referral of people with mental health problems. The Ministry of Health has certified the completion of a training that includes: 12 theoretical training days, and a minimum of three on-the-job, supervised clinical sessions. Two formative evaluations were conducted to guide training implementation. Trainees completed pre/post tests, and clinical skills were evaluated during the on-the-job supervision sessions. Trainees showed an average of 12–25% improvement in knowledge, and 85% doctors and 91% nurses met minimum competency standards. Results from the evaluation were used to address challenges, including: strengthening referral mechanisms; promoting organisational change through clinic management; tailoring training for different groups of professionals; utilising a team approach to care; providing refresher training on topics such as medication management and planning longer term follow-up. The project provides important input towards integrating mental health into primary health, on the national policy level.

How to cite this article:
Hijazi Z, Weissbecker I, Chammay R. The integration of mental health into primary health care in Lebanon.Intervention 2011;9:265-278

How to cite this URL:
Hijazi Z, Weissbecker I, Chammay R. The integration of mental health into primary health care in Lebanon. Intervention [serial online] 2011 [cited 2023 Jun 10 ];9:265-278
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