Mental health

Mental Health in Emergencies

Mental and Social Aspects of Health of Populations Exposed to Extreme Stressors

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 8
Publication date: 2003
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Indonesian, Russian and Spanish
WHO reference number: WHO/MSD/MER/03.01



This document summarises the present position of the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse on assisting populations exposed to extreme stressors, such as refugees, internally displaced persons, disaster survivors and terrorism-, war- or genocide-exposed populations. WHO recognises that the number of persons exposed to extreme stressors is large and that exposure to extreme stressors is a risk factor for mental health and social problems. Principles and strategies described in this document are primarily for application in resource-poor countries, where most populations exposed to disasters and war live.