Expanding Mental Health Services
Workgroup Meets with Ambassador
SAMHSA and the Workgroup on Afghanistan Mental Health provide support for the immediate
behavioral health priorities of the country’s Ministry of Public Health. The
Workgroup convened to report to the Ambassador on progress that includes an emphasis
on mental health as part of health and the needs of children, youth, and women.
At the Afghanistan Embassy in Washington, DC, (left to right) Dr. Terry L. Cline,
SAMHSA Administrator, joined the Ambassador of Afghanistan Said T. Jawad, Dr. Alia
Ibrahim Zai, Afghanistan’s Director of Mental Health, and Mrs. Saheem Jawad,
the Ambassador’s wife, to hear about the country’s mental health needs.
The Workgroup on Afghanistan Mental Health is a team of experts from SAMHSA and
additional members from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Office of Global
Health Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Embassy
of Afghanistan. (See SAMHSA News online,
Efforts include increasing and improving professional staff and providing transportation
for staff to visit service sites and regions to integrate behavioral health into
primary care. Other efforts include providing adequate offices and equipment, and
supporting the development and distribution of public education materials on mental
The Workgroup welcomed the World Health Organization (WHO) into its membership and
holds substantive sessions for its members on WHO’s Chain Free Initiative (elimination
of the use of restraints and seclusion).
SAMHSA sponsors Afghan participation in numerous behavioral health trainings around
the world, including sessions on trauma and substance abuse.
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