Mental Health & Psychosocial Support for Syrian Refugees in Jordan – A Capacity Analysis of the national implementation of WHO’s mhGAP Public Deposited

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  • February 28, 2019
  • Schubert, Johanna
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Public Health Leadership Program
  • With 659,063 registered refugees, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is one of the top three safe havens for Syrian refugees since the war in Syria escalated and forced a current total of 5.6 million Syrians out of their homes by March 2018 (UNHCR, 2018). In addition to the pre-war prevalence of mental disorders, traumatic stress and stress-related Mental Health (MH) issues pose an increasing challenge on the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) system in Jordan, which is still an underdeveloped sector with limited capacity and many challenges. WHO’s Mental Health Gap Action Plan (mhGAP; WHO, 2008) aims to provide governments and organizations with guidelines on how to strengthen the capacity of their Mental Health Services (MHS) Systems. Based on mhGAP, the Jordanian Government developed a comprehensive Mental Health Policy Plan to master the challenge. This policy analysis aims to assess the status quo of the mhGAP capacity in Jordan in order to formulate policy recommendations to support the process of MH Capacity Development in Jordan targeting refugees as particularly vulnerable population segment. Key focus of recommendation lies on the alignment and harmonization of donor and NGO efforts in the Mental Health Sector, the strengthening and decentralization of the national MH workforce increasingly including female health workers, while establishing a centralized monitoring and evaluation system to increase governmental ownership and oversight. Semi-Conditional cash transfers requiring refugee beneficiaries to attend regular meetings with psychosocially versed case managers in order to retrieve unconditional payments would alleviate existential pressures and therefore sources of stress and therefore mental health burden, especially for families with children. Psychoeducation programs to raise awareness among both refugee and local populations in order to reduce stigma is essential to increase health services utilization once capacities are developed.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Paper type: Policy
  • Track: Leadership
  • Evarts, Lori
  • Fried, Bruce
  • Master of Public Health
Academic concentration
  • Public Health
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2018
Deposit record
  • 367dfb1b-7296-417d-9382-71cf4d346866

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