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SAMHSA News - July/August 2007, Volume 15, Number 4

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.

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, January/February 2006.)

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 health.

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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