Mental health

Healing minds - MSF and mental health

On World Mental Health Day, MSF highlights our work in providing people with mental health and psychosocial support after experiencing crisis or conflict. With mental health services across 49 countries, MSF has built mental health provisions into many of its projects. This gallery of images highlights the people MSF supports across the breadth of countries and contexts in which we work.

Honduras: Mental healthcare for victims of violence
Honduras. MSF provides mental healthcare for victims of various types of violence, including kidnapping, extortion, assault, threats and other high-impact violent events in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, and its sister city Comayagüela. MSF’s mental health teams provide individual sessions, group sessions and activities such as psychosocial workshops.
Fernando Reyes/MSF
Mexico Migrants Report 2017
Mexico. A woman rests with her granddaughter during an MSF support session for women in the Tenosique migrant shelter, for those who flee north, escaping violence in Central America.
Marta Soszynska/MSF
Mental Health in Venezuela
Venezuela. MSF psychologist Suhail Izaguirre works with preschool children on self-expression and managing emotions. During this day´s session, the 6-year-old pupils were asked to draw how they imagine “fear” and “happiness”.
Marta Soszynska/MSF
Mental health in Tumaco: La Negra Ardiente
Colombia. La Negra Ardiente (The Burning Black, her nom de guerre) is a community organiser in Tumaco, and a victim of the violence that was an everyday part of life there for many years. As an adult she was abused, beaten and raped. This led her to a severe depression and suicidal thoughts. However, with the support of an MSF psychologist, La Negra Ardiente has walked through the darkness and emerged a strong, inspirational woman. She sings about her sorrows and about her new-found strength, and uses her singing to inspire others.
Fabio Basone/MSF
SGBV Medical Emergency Haiti
Haiti. Gisele, 20 years old (name changed). My cousin told me that I had bad luck, that something was wrong with me. A friend of my parents said that he was a mason and therefore could help remove the “bad eye”. He took me to an isolated place and asked me to get naked. He touched me and raped me. I told my family what happened. Now he is hiding, and he is under the protection of a women judge. I want justice to be done.
Benedicte Kurzen/Noor
MH Belgium Project - Poelkapelle
Belgium. Nadia Essalah (Arabic cultural mediator for MSF) and Yamina Marzougui (MSF counsellor) during a counselling chat with Zinati, from Palestine.
Albert Masias/MSF
Baobab Center
Italy. Lilian Pizzi, MSF psychologist during an emotional support session in a camp next to the Tiburtina area, Rome. MSF provides psychological first aid support to people in transit.
Sara Creta/MSF
Majdal Anjar-Bekaa valley
Lebanon. Majdal Anjar, considered one of the poorest regions in Lebanon, is hosting more than 80,000 Syrian refugees since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011. MSF is running a primary health care centre including mental health counselling services to the vulnerable populations.
Abbass Salman/MSF
Occupied Minds - Nisreen story
Palestine. Nisreen shares a meal with her four children that she now has to support on her own after losing her husband: Rajhad 18, Younis, 12, Khalid, 7, and Hanan 5. MSF mental health teams assist patients like Nisreen affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Anna Surinyach/MSF
Erbil Iraq - Debaga Camp and Mobile Clinic
Iraq. Dr Mahmoud Habeb, a psychologist, speaks with his patient and her family at a healthcare facility in Debaga camp outside of Erbil, with mental health activity manager Bilal Budair.)
Monique Jacques
Harandi, Tehran, Iran
Iran. A woman in MSF's project in Harandi, southern Tehran, where MSF provides medical and psychological care dedicated to vulnerable women and children under 15. Attention is given to drug users, sex workers, ex-drug users, direct family members of drug-addicted people, (Afghan) labor children and the gypsy community.
Mahsa Ahrabi-Fard
Portrait of Abdul Karim Turay
“Life is very difficult for us survivors now. And there is no more work. I’m a workman but now I have no job. The companies I worked for left because of Ebola. I have pain in body and so much money stress.” Ebola survivor Abdul Karim Turay, Sierra Leone.
Lake Chad: Life amidst a protracted crisis (Chad)
Miriam, 20, in Dar es Salam camp in February 2017. "Everyone was just running," she remembered. "I picked up my two daughters, one on each shoulder, and I started running.”
Sara Creta/MSF
Mental Healthcare in Mweso
Democratic Republic of Congo. Every week, an MSF team of counsellors and health promoters puts on a play and conducts sensitisation activities with displaced people living outside and inside of Mweso school, North Kivu. Theatre is used as an effective means of health promotion and the performance touches on different themes, among them sexual and domestic violence. The MSF team use theater to present the different healthcare activities that are offered to people in Mweso.
Sara Creta/MSF
Psychological Effects of the Ukrainian War
Ukraine. 74 year old Nina of Popasna, Lugansk region of eastern Ukraine speaks with an MSF counsellor. She lives with her 8 year old grandson Nazar; at one point ten members of the extended family shared the small flat. They were displaced from their own homes due to shelling. Nazar remained though, his mother was killed by a shell while fleeing her farm.
Robin Hammond/Noor
Kyrgyzstan - Decentralized care for TB patients
Kyrgyzstan. Chief nurse Ashyrkan Turdusheva speaks with patients waiting for counselling at the tuberculosis (TB) cabinet. Here ambulatory treatment, psychosocial counselling for patients and their families, and social packages (are provided to help patients adhere to TB treatment.
Helmut Wachter/13photo
A counsellor gives a presentation about SGBV
A counsellor gives a talk on sexual violence and intimate partner violence at MSF's women's health clinic in Kamrangirchar slum.
Amber Dowell / MSF/MSF
"RETURN TO ABUSER" - Family and Sexual Violence Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea. A six year old girl at a safe house in Papua New Guinea. Her mother brought her to the Family Support centre, where MSF provided timely medical and psychosocial care for sexual assault survivors, after she and her two year old sister were raped in their bedroom by a 30 year old neighbour.
Jodi Bieber