Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services in Post-Conflict Countries
As the need and demand for prevention, screening, diagnostics, and treatment of mental disorders increase globally, access to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services remains limited. Access and provision of needed services are further complicated—especially in fragile and post-conflict states—by pervasive stigmas about mental disorders and treatment and a systemic lack of investment in human resources, medical supplies, and information systems.
MHPSS services are integral to improving well-being, especially in the context of a growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). With support from the Victims of Torture Fund (VOT), USAID’s Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) has partnered with the Accelerator to support the integration and strengthening of MHPSS services in Liberia. The Accelerator collaborates with the Liberian Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit and local stakeholders to identify and address challenges that create gaps in providing MHPSS services as part of comprehensive primary health care.
The Accelerator is developing the capacity for providing MHPSS services in Liberia by optimizing key health system functions across the policy, health facility, and community levels. Through its local partners (the Liberia Association of Psychosocial Services (LAPS) and Phebe Hospital and School of Nursing), the Accelerator employs evidence-informed approaches to strengthen systems for training mental health workers, providing psychotropic drugs, delivering MHPSS services in communities, and coordinating interventions across health system actors.