Lebanon Launches National Strategy for Mental Health

On May 14th, 2015 the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health (LebMASH) participated in the launching event of the National Strategy for Mental Health and Substance Use 2015-2020 at the Lebanese University, Al-Mathaf, Beirut.

Dr. Chady Ibrahim, executive board member, represented LebMASH at the event that was hosted by the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with partners of the National Mental Health Program including: WHO, UNICEF, and International Medical Corps.

The outcome of the event was most significant for specifying the goal and strategic objectives.

Goal: Improve access to equitable evidence-based mental health services, preventive and curative, for all vulnerable groups living in Lebanon.

Strategic Objectives

5.1 Persons with disabilities [Including mental and physical disabilities, and all age categories (children, adults and elderly)]

5.1.1 Integrate MHPSS into the programs of all relevant actors who work with persons with disabilities

5.2 Children and adolescents

5.2.1 Develop evidence-based guidelines for MHPSS services targeting children and adolescentst

5.3 Elderly

5.3.1 Train General Practitioners, family physicians and relevant health care workers on screening, assessing and managing older adults with mental health conditions, in line with the human resources capacity building plans in the strategy

5.4 Persons receiving palliative care

5.4.1 Develop an evidence-based capacity building plan for MHPSS services for providers working in palliative care

5.5 Prisoners

5.5.1 Develop a strategy for mental health and substance use in prisons and detention centres in coordination with relevant ministries and actors

5.6 Survivors of torture and their families

5.6.1 Train mental health providers working with survivors of torture on properly and timely assessing, documenting and managing the impact of torture on the mental health of the survivors and their families

5.7 Families of disappeared from armed conflicts and wars

5.7.1 Train mental health specialists working with families of the disappeared on relevant evidence informed therapy techniques5.7.2 Create in coordination with all relevant actors a national memorial for missing persons

5.8 Persons living with HIV/AIDS

5.8.1 In collaboration with NAP, train HIV specialists and health workers on common mental health conditions/substance use and effect of stigma on persons living with HIV/AIDS (detection, assessment and management)

5.9 SGBV survivors

5.9.1 Develop evidence-based capacity building plan for MHPSS services for providers working with SGBV survivors and their partners5.9.2 Integrate MHPSS into the programmes of all relevant actors who work with SGBV survivors and their partners

5.10 LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community

5.10.1 Adapted international standards for best practices for mental health care for LGBT community to the cultural context.5.10.2 Develop capacities of mental health professionals on good practices for working with LGBT community in collaboration with relevant actors

5.11 Domestic workers

5.11.1 Conduct a situation analysis to assess access of domestic workers to MHPSS services5.11.2 Include the coverage of mental health services in the insurance schemes of domestic workers

5.12 Palestinian Refugees

5.12.1 Establish a leadership and governance mechanism for agencies working for mental health of Palestinian refugees under the leadership of UNRWA in line with the MOPH structure5.12.2 Establish a sustainable referral system between actors in the field under the leadership of UNRWA and the support of MOPH

5.13 Other displaced populations

5.13.1 Develop an annual action plan for the MHPSS TF5.13.2 Monitor regularly the activities under the MHPSS TF action plan