Department for International Development Petition

NTUNG_AOAV_Lebanon_28_Mohammed-Adjeye

URGE THE DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO PROVIDE MORE SUPPORT TO ADDRESS THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF ARMED VIOLENCE SURVIVORS IN GAZA, SYRIA, IRAQ, PAKISTAN, NIGERIA AND OTHER CONFLICT AFFECTED COUNTRIES.

On the 10th of October, the world will observe mental health day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world.

We write to take this opportunity to highlight that millions of people in conflict affected countries are experiencing mental health problems and have no access to support and services. As a consequence, they have poor mental health and are trapped in poverty.

We urge the Department for International Development to provide more support to address the mental health needs of armed violence survivors in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and other conflict affected countries.

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Petition Text

Dear Secretary of State for International Development,

On the 10th of October the world will observe mental health day. We write to take this opportunity to highlight that millions of armed violence survivors in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and other conflict-affected countries are experiencing mental health problems. Sadly, the vast majority of them have no access to the support and services that would enable them to recover from their traumas, have better mental health and escape poverty.

Armed violence is a major cause of mental health problems among survivors of armed conflict. Mental health problems among survivors increase by a 100% during conflicts and other humanitarian crises. The World Health Organisation estimates that 10% of those affected will have severe mental health problems and another 10% will develop behaviour that hinders their ability to function. Mental health problems as a consequence of armed violence are a barrier to poverty reduction and the achievements of the MDGs.

We urge the Department for International Development to provide more support to address this problem. In particular, we urge DFID to provide more support to integrated mental health and care services in community-based settings in partnership with local community- based organisation and NGOs. Community-based interventions and local partnerships are appropriate, and provide value for money, in countries experiencing armed conflict.