Development cooperation ,27.08.2013

Mental Health Training Centre Mazar


Among the mental illnesses affecting Afghans most are depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. While the factors are numerous, the path to treatment is troubled with obstacles ranging from the shame felt by family members, to old traditions that compete with modern methods, and a huge deficiency of professionals and facilities equipped to deal with the situation. The International Assistance Mission (IAM) has worked in Afghanistan since 1966 and since 1996 on improving mental health care. In 1996 it started a Primary Mental Health Project in Herat. To date this project has continued and trained primary health care providers at three levels (i.e. community health supervisors, nurses/midwives and doctors) to carry out mental health services in the health facilities throughout the Western Region. It engages directly with mentally ill in running a busy psychiatric out-patient clinic.It has been very successful in raising awareness of mental illness in the community, and reducing stigma experienced by people with mental illness through sustained and locally relevant awareness programs. Community involvement in raising awareness is systematically built in and it has an awareness of equity issues related to gender and social class.The proposed Mental Health Training Centre Mazar (MHTC Mazar) builds on the foundations laid in the Western region by starting a similar approach for the 7 provinces of the Northern region. MHTC Mazar aims to the develop a Mental Health Training Centre for the professional treatment of the mentally ill according to evidence based standards and the mental health training of medical professionals. MHTC Mazar will further develop and contribute to maintaining through training, the mental health care capacity of the public Health Centres in Northern Region in order for it to provide mental health services in rural and urban areas according to the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan requirements.It aims at introducing in the Northern Region effective, evidence based ways of promoting good mental health into the school system, to mullahs, to governmental entities and possibly civil society entities. This will be done through training activities, media and advocacy work. This project will be part of the National Mental Health Programme of IAM in Afghanistan.


  • 2013: 113 000 €
  • 2014: 160 546 €
  • 2015: 183 033 €

Objectives monitored by OECD's Development Assistance Committee

  • Gender equality

Field of activity

  • Medical education/training 100%

Special target group

  • women
  • people with disability

Funding channel

  • Evankelis-luterilainen Lähetysyhdistys Kylväjä ry
  • International Assistance Mission



Code for the object of funding