“We learned how to work with people with mental, neurological and addiction related issues. Not just theories but real skills,” says Dr. Mohammed Ahmed, doctor in the Aysaita refugee camp in north Ethiopia. Here WarTrauma provided mhGAP training to health staff.

“The patients I see do not only have physical problems, but often also psychosocial complaints. This is why we started a team to promote mental health and well-being. We have become better health professionals, but most importantly we are now able to better care for our patients,” Dr. Mohammed explains.

The trainings took place in partnership with UNHCR and the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), an institution established by the Ethiopian government and part of the Ministry of Home Affairs. ARRA is the main implementing partner of UNHCR and is in charge of food distribution, security issues in refugee camps, and other programs on health, education, etc.

In Ethiopia we worked with two trainers from WarTrauma and two Ethiopian psychiatrists with mhGAP training experience. Having two local psychiatrists on board added a lot of value to the trainings. They know the situation well and their involvement greatly contributes to the sustainability of the trainings. A total of 20 professionals, 16 clinical and 30 non-clinical staff were trained in Ethiopia.