Mental Health in Complex Emergencies Course

Course Description

The Mental Health in Complex Emergencies course is designed for professionals in mental health and social work, staff in humanitarian health and protection programs and volunteers who wish to establish programs for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS)  in humanitarian  emergencies such as conflict, post conflict, and disaster settings, and with refugees or internally displaced populations.

This course will provide practical orientation and training on a range of topics such as conducting rapid assessments, designing and setting up MHPSS programs, coordinating them and the basics of monitoring and evaluation. Significant attention will be dedicated to therapeutic approaches to mental health conditions in adults and children in humanitarian contexts. Other topics include the issues of cultural validity and cultural change, conflict resolution and negotiation. Potential field workers will be introduced to essentials such as personal security, logistics, taking care of oneself and how to cope with the stresses of humanitarian work, and other practical aspects of humanitarian work in the field.

The course will also explore the evolving nature of humanitarian emergencies and the challenges they raise, including the growing numbers of forcibly displaced people, the problems created by (chronic) conflict, and emerging threats posed by pandemics, and the climate and ecological emergencies.

An important feature of the course is that it provides a space for learning from seasoned lecturers/practitioners and from other students, many of whom bring unique experiences and insights from all corners of the world.

After the course, students will have an increased understanding of mental health and psychosocial needs and interventions in complex emergencies. They will also have an overview of important guidance documents, key issues, and debates within the field. They will have been introduced to the key capacities required for establishing MHPSS activities in the field and have a chance to critically reflect on their own role as humanitarian actors.

Course Dates

Please check back on May 1, 2024, for the application and fall 2024 course dates. In the meantime, you may send any inquiries or questions to [email protected]

Course Cost

The course cost is $915 for a certificate of completion or this semester-long course can also be taken for three academic credits at the standard GSAS tuition rateThe course syllabus will be posted when it's available.

Upon fulfilling the course requirements described in the syllabus, students will receive a Certificate of Completion from Fordham University. 

Course Instructors

  • Marcio Gagliato, Ph.D.

    Humanitarian Response, Mental Health, Protection & Psychosocial Support Specialist.

    Director (Operations), Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network –


  • Larry Hollingworth C.B.E.

    Humanitarian Programs Director, Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC)

    Visiting Professor, Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), Fordham University


  • Lynne Jones OBE, FRCPsych. Ph.D.

    Visiting scientist, FXB Center for Health & Human Rights, Harvard University School of Public Health,

    Honorary Consultant at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


  • Willem van de Put

    Co-founder of MHCE, founder and director of Culture for Change (C4C)

    Research fellow at Fordham University

    Scientific expert at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp

  • Peter Ventevogel, M.D., Ph.D.

    Senior Mental Health Officer, Division of Resilience & Solutions, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

  • Claire Whitney, M.I.A., L.I.C.S.W.

    Senior Global Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Advisor

    Technical Unit, International Medical Corps



Please email [email protected] with any questions.