Armenia strengthens community mental health services for populations affected by armed conflict with support from WHO and EU

YEREVAN, JUNE 17, ARMENPRESS. The World Health Organization (WHO), in cooperation with the European Commission and the Ministry of Health of Armenia (MoH), has launched the Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) in Armenia for populations affected by the armed conflict, informed ARMENPRESS of the WHO office in Armenia.

With the slogan – Mental health for all! – the mhGAP program in Armenia aims to strengthen community-based mental health care to reduce mental health and psychosocial suffering and promote the well-being of the population affected by armed conflict, thereby improving their access to mental health and support psychosocial. The mhGAP program will be implemented in Yerevan and four Marzes-Kotayk, Ararat, Gegharkunik and Syunik, ensuring that 20% of primary health care facilities in these regions are able to provide psychosocial and community mental health support from quality and evidence-based.

On June 16, the main aims and objectives of the mhGAP program were presented during the meeting with the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Andrea Wiktorin, representatives of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Neighborhood and the enlargement of the EU, local authorities and civil society.

Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin highlighted the importance of mental health and the role of the joint mhGAP program in addressing this issue. “Making mental health high on the healthcare agenda will improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities,” the Ambassador said.

“The Ministry of Health highly appreciates this important partnership with the WHO and the EU. The mhGAP program has great potential to improve access to quality mental health services in communities and to address health issues mental and psychosocial suffering of the population affected by the armed conflict,” said Kristine Galstyan, focal point of the mhGAP program at the Ministry of Health.

The launch was followed by a stakeholder meeting in Kapan town, Syunik, with the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Health and WHO, as well as the regional administration of Syunik and heads of facilities. health. Participants discussed gaps in mental health services in the Marze and opportunities to provide quality and timely mental health interventions to those in need at primary health care and community levels.

WHO Representative to Armenia Dr Jihane Tawilah said, “To bring about real change, we need to work to build more resilient systems in Armenia. We hope that the mhGAP program will facilitate the continued capacity building of primary health care workers and create both momentum and experience for a national policy that will scale up the integration of mental health care into primary health services in Armenia” ․

The Mental Health Gap Action Programme, launched globally by WHO in 2008, aims to enable the scaling up of services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in health care settings. non-specialized health.

The implementation of the Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) in Armenia is a joint effort of the European Commission’s Department of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, the World Health Organization and of the Armenian Ministry of Health. The program will provide evidence-based guidance and tools to integrate mental health into general health care delivery in Yerevan and the 4 Marzes of Armenia, supporting health workers in their daily practice and ensuring access to quality care for the population affected by the armed conflict.