Building Back Better

Sustainable Mental Health Care after Emergencies

November 2013
More details
  • Publisher
    World Health Organization
  • Published
    5th November 2013
  • ISBN 9789241564571
  • Language English
  • Pages 110 pp.
  • Size 6.25" x 9.25"
  • Images figures & 4-color photos

In spite of their tragic nature, and notwithstanding the human suffering they create, emergency situations are also opportunities to build better mental health care. The surge of aid, combined with sudden, focused attention on the mental health of the population, creates unparalleled opportunities to transform mental health care for the long term.

By publishing this information, the World Health Organization ensures that those faced with emergencies do not miss the opportunity for mental health reform. Emergencies are not only mental health tragedies, but also powerful catalysts for achieving sustainable mental health care in affected communities. We do not know where the next major emergency will be, but we do know that those affected will have the opportunity to build back better. Reading this publication is an excellent way to prepare for and respond to that eventuality.

The ten cases that form the core of this report show how it can be done. Early commitment towards a longer-term perspective for mental health reform is key to success. The report summarizes lessons learned and key overlapping practices emerging from these experiences.

List of abbreviations
Executive summary

Part 1. Seeing opportunity in crisis:
Using emergencies to build better mental health care

Mental health challenges
Mental health opportunities
Mental health care during emergencies and early recovery
Mental health care over the long term
Purpose of this report

Part 2. Seizing opportunity in crisis:
10 case examples

Indonesia (Aceh)
Iraq Jordan
Sri Lanka
West Bank and Gaza Strip

Part 3. Spreading opportunity in crisis:
Lessons learnt and take home messages

World Health Organization

World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.