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Training: Community-Based Mental Health Care

Mental health problems are common and cause great suffering to individuals and communities around the world. They have a significant impact not only on the physical and mental health of those affected but also on their families and the communities they live in. At the same time, all communities have their own traditional mechanisms for support and contain a range wide of resources that can be helpful in preventing mental health conditions from developing, promoting positive mental health, and supporting the recovery of people that are struggling with a mental health condition.

During emergencies and crisis, the stigma, exclusion, and discrimination towards people living with mental health conditions is often higher, which can cause isolation and protection issues. Communities can play a crucial role in promoting mental health as well as enhancing primary care and access. Their role is to help reduce mental health inequalities by providing community resources that connect people to community-based resources and by providing mental health education. This also helps to reduce the massive mental health treatment gap.

From 2021, the IFRC Psychosocial Centre has been increasing its focus on mental health care and especially on community-based mental health care approaches including psychological interventions as part of a wider piece of work on Care in Communities – IFRC Guidelines for National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies: A community health systems approach 2020.

The IFRC PS Centre has developed a five-day training guide on community-based mental health that is based on the recommendations of the WHO’s Community mhGAP Toolkit (2019)

This training provides guidance to programme managers and community providers on how to build the capacities of community health workers and volunteers by promoting and addressing mental health needs in their communities. Through this training, the IFRC Psychosocial Reference Centre intends to promote the expansion across the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement of community mental health care services that go beyond primary health-care settings.

The topic covered
  • Introduction to mental health and wellbeing
  • Introduction to community
  • Introduction to the WHO’s Mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP)
  • Community mhGAP: community platform settings, community providers, spectrum of community platform activities
  • Planning mental health activities and interventions carried out in the community platform
  • How to talk about mental health in the community
  • Mental health conditions: Reduction of stigma, social exclusion, and discrimination
  • Promoting mental health and preventing from mental health conditions
  • Providing support to people living with mental health condition
  • Promoting recovery and rehabilitation for people with mental health conditions
Dates, deadlines, and other important information

The training takes place in Copenhagen from 26 to 30 June 2023 (five days). Each day of the training will be from 9.00am to 5.00pm Copenhagen time.

Participants must be able to participate in the entire training, arriving the night before and departing from the training venue no earlier than 5 pm on the last day of training with the earliest possible flight out of Copenhagen at 8 pm.

The training is in English, and all participants are expected to participate actively.

Participants will receive a certificate based on whether they have:

  • done the required pre-reading
  • at least 80% attendance during the training
  • participated actively during the training.

The learning is based on cooperative and participatory learning principles where participants are taking active part in all aspects of the training.

Participants will learn through short presentations by facilitators, active engagement in exercises in pairs and groups, role plays, discussions of cases

For questions, please write to 

Deadline for application

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with a deadline of Sunday 7 May 2023.
Please note that we only accept applications submitted through the online system:

Please identify the specific visa requirements to Denmark: Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs


There is no training fee. Participants cover their own expenses for travel, accommodation, and other expenses. Lunch and snacks and one social dinner will be provided during the training.

Pre-training reading

It is highly recommended that participants are familiar with all these materials:

mhGAP introduction video (2010)

mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide (2015)

mhGAP Intervention Guide, Version 2.0 of the WHO (2017)

mhGAP Operations manual (2018)

mhGAP Community Toolkit


IFRC Psychosocial Centre


Jun 26 - 30 2023


All Day


Danish Red Cross Headquarters
Blegdamsvej 27, 2100 København Ø


IFRC Psychosocial Centre
Hejrevej 30, st.
2400 Copenhagen NV

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