Improving Access to Mental Health Care and Psychosocial Support within a Fragile Context: A Case Study from Afghanistan

Summary Points
– After the fall of the Taliban, the rebuilding of the Afghan health care system, from scratch, provided opportunities to integrate mental health into basic health services through the use of funds that became available during this complex humanitarian emergency.
– Practice-oriented mental health trainings for general health workers and ongoing clinical supervision in the basic health care system led to substantially increased demand for and access to basic mental health care services.
– Treatment of mental disorders within the health care system needs to be accompanied by a community-based approach that focuses on psychosocial problems.
– Addressing service delivery needs in a fragile state has to be accompanied by capacity building and policy development in order to foster structural changes within the health care system.

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