Today Is World Mental Health Day - Doctors of the World

Today Is World Mental Health Day

We believe that every person should have access to quality mental health support and treatment

8 million people die every year from a mental health illness

Our teams work around the world to provide mental health support to survivors of abuse, conflict and displacement. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness is one of the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

Today, we’re releasing a booklet to mark World Mental Health Day that explores our experiences providing mental health support in the Middle East – specifically in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The publication: “An Invisible Crisis: Exploring Mental Health Needs in the Syrian and Iraqi Crises” highlights the numerous challenges to quality service provision in the Middle East, along with our network’s response to mental health needs, and recommendations for international and regional decision-makers.



1 in 5 Syrians are at risk of developing moderate mental health issues


Armed conflict and natural disasters pose significant challenges to the long-term mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of affected populations. The Middle East has long been plagued by war and conflict, resulting in mass loss of life, displacement, and cross-generational changes to traditional familial and societal structures. The results can be devastating to the emotional wellbeing of affected populations throughout the region with notable increases in the prevalence of common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.

According to the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria, one in five Syrians are at risk of developing moderate mental health issues, and one in 30 is at risk of developing severe or acute mental health problems.

In 2017, we conducted 27,769 mental health and psychological support sessions in the Middle East

Despite our work, the is still a pressing need across the region for high-quality mental health and psychosocial support services provision. Doctors of the World is responding to this need by implementing programs enabling access to essential mental health care and psychosocial support.

To learn more about our work, download the booklet below. 

An Invisible Crisis: Exploring Mental Health In The Middle East