Beyond a healthy body: MSF's mental health support

14 Oct 2018
Related Countries
South Sudan

In 1998, MSF formally recognised the importance of providing mental healthcare as part of its emergency work. A decade later and, in 2017, MSF staff performed 306,300 individual mental health consultations and 49,800 group sessions in 52 countries.

The psychosocial support MSF provides through these consultations and groups focuses on helping people to develop coping strategies after they have lived through traumatic experiences. The immediate goal is to reduce their symptoms and help them be able to lead a normal life.

  • Read our coverage about MSF's mental health activities in this photo story:

World Mental Health Day 2018: Beyond a healthy body

  • Want to know more? Watch these interviews with MSF's mental health staff

Psychologist Vanessa Cardoso tells about her experience in Yambio, South Sudan. Together with the mental health team, she supported a community of internally displaced people in the process of rebuilding their sense of self.

Psychologist Deborah Duarte talks about the difficulties faced by our international staff when they return home after having experienced intense moments during the mission.

Language and cultural barriers, short amount of contact time between professionals and patients and the social stigma that often accompanies mental ill-health are some of the obstacles faced by our mental health teams in the field.