Support to mental health services for children and adolescents in the Duhok Province


Duhok Governorate, Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan; Duhok Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre and network health facilities for diagnosis, treatment and referral; Primary Heal
Cooperation years:
Host country's participants:
the General Directorate of Health of Duhok
Italian Agency for Development Cooperation
Implementing agency:

Project Aim

Improvement of the mental health conditions of the displaced population and the host community, with particular reference to minors and youth.
Strengthening of mental health services for children and youth at central level and integration at peripheral level.


Background of the Project

In the face of an increasing demand for mental health services, there is a structural shortage of specialised or properly trained staff at local level in the Duhok region. At the moment, only 4 psychiatrists are available in the entire Province of 2.3 million inhabitants. In addition, due to the serious economic crisis, most of the staff working at CAMHC and the psychiatry department of Azadi Hospital have applied for permission from the DGoH to work, full-time or part-time, for international NGOs in displaced and refugee camps. This, while it has made possible a temporary emergency response in the camps, has over time ended up weakening the centres of II and III level.
There is a urgent need of strengthening the skills of the personnel both in management and clinical practice, as well as improve the infrastructure. The project is funded by Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Objectives achieved

The space of the centre has been reorganised and made more child friendly. Educational toys have been procured to support staff treatment. Diagnosis tools have been proposed. Duhok General Directorate of Health has been supported to provide accessible and quality mental health services for children and youth, both at central and community level. A training programme has been delivered by a multidisciplinary team of Italian experts .  2 mobile teams for home visits have been created in the camps and in the host community. Data on patients have been collected for scientific dissemination. 


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