New WHO/UNHCR Guide on Mental Health in Humanitarian Emergencies (5 May 2015)

The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have released a Guide on mental health in humanitarian emergencies on 5 May 2015.

The guide, entitled ‘mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (mhGAP-HIG)’ is aimed at non-specialist health care workers.

Why this guide?

Nearly 80 million people worldwide are affected by humanitarian emergencies arising from natural disasters and armed conflicts.

Estimates indicate that between 5-10% of these people suffer from a mental health condition as a result of the emergency.

Specialist care is rarely available to these people.

What the guide covers (Contents):

General Principles of Care for People with Mental, Neurological and Substance Use Conditions in Humanitarian Settings (GPC) 

1. Principles of Communication

2. Principles of Assessment

3. Principles of Management

4. Principles of Reducing Stress and Strengthening Social Support

5. Principles of Protection of Human Rights

6. Principles of Attention to Overall Well-being


1. Acute Stress (ACU)

2. Grief (GRI)

3. Moderate-severe Depressive Disorder (DEP)

4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

5. Psychosis (PSY)

6. Epilepsy/Seizures (EPI)

7. Intellectual Disability (ID)

8. Harmful Use of Alcohol and Drugs (SUB)

9. Suicide (SUI)

10. Other Significant Mental Health Complaints (OTH)

Useful links:

Link to the news release:

Link to the guide:

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