MHPSS in conflict settings

ARQ is committed to the mental health and psychosocial support of people affected by war and humanitarian disasters in low and middle-income countries. We do this by supporting healthcare professionals, conducting research, and sharing knowledge. 

Conflict-affected countries experience high burdens of mental health and psychosocial disorder due to exposure to violence, displacement, and other conflict-related stressors. Yet, resources available for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in conflict are often insufficient.

Shelters fall down. Crops can fail. But emotional strength can stay with people throughout their lives.

Participant of the 'Build your Own Buddy’ programme in South Sudan by TNO and Help a Child

How do we help?

ARQ International, former War Trauma Foundation, supports MHPSS staff to reach affected populations with specialised mental health and community-based psychosocial interventions. We always build on existing sources of knowledge and support, bridging the gap between local practice and global research. ARQ does this by: 

  • Training professionals
    We partner with local professionals and non-professionals to enhance their expertise and skills in MHPSS through training tailored to the local context. We offer training across all Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s MHPSS Intervention Pyramid layers. This includes capacity building for non-professionals in community-based MHPSS to support the recovery and resilience of most conflict-affected populations, as well as training for local specialists in focused and specialised supports to address more severe mental health problems. For the latter, we draw on a pool of clinical experts at ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre to provide top training expertise.
  • Care for professionals
    Mental health workers in conflict settings face high levels of occupational distress due to increased workload, complex cases requiring new skills, and risk of re-traumatisation. Meanwhile, carers also live through war and cope with the same stressors as the people they’re helping. ARQ provides tailor-made staff support courses for international and local professionals focusing on stress management, self-care, and case consultation. We take a holistic approach to staff care targeting the individual, team, and organisational levels.
  • Research and development
    We conduct qualitative and quantitative research on MHPSS to better understand the needs of specific populations affected by conflict, develop evidence-based MHPSS interventions, and contribute to the global research agenda on MHPSS priorities. We aim to bridge the gap between MHPSS research and practice and centre local experiences within MHPSS research priorities.
  • Advising international NGOs
    ARQ provides strategic advisory services to international NGOs on integrating MHPSS within their programmes, including health, education, SGBV, peace and security, and humanitarian response. We provide our partners with technical MHPSS expertise throughout the program cycle, from providing internal training and workshops to build staff capacity in MHPSS, conducting assessments of mental health and psychosocial needs, planning and implementing multi-layered MHPSS activities, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Exchanging knowledge and experience
    As host of the independent journal, Intervention, Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict-Affected Areas, ARQ provides a platform for exchange among field workers, policymakers, and researchers on MHPSS from the Global North and South. We also facilitate collaboration among diverse MHPSS stakeholders and networks through webinars, conferences, and research symposiums.  

Would you like more information on possible collaboration?

ARQ International is a technical expertise partner and does not have local offices. While most of our previous experience has taken place in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and East and West Africa, we are always open to collaboration in new regions with new local and international partners. Please feel free to contact us to explore the possibilities. Send an email to, and we will respond as soon as possible.