Mental Health in Nagorno Karabakh

Karabakh is a mountainous area of historic Armenia, which, since 1921, had been an autonomous region in what was then Soviet Azerbaijan. It had a population of 190,000 (1990) of whom 76% were Armenians, the remainder mostly Azeris. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1988, the Karabakh declared the reunification with Armenia, and later independence. In early 90-ies war resulted in the area. More than one million people from Armenia, Azerbaydjan and Nagorno Karabakh have been driven from their homes. A cease-fire was enacted in 1994, and relatively peaceful years have ensured.

The need for psychological intervention in such the situation of Karabagh is self-evident. Immediate psychological and counseling help is essential to prevent the conversion of traumatic experiences into chronic psychological disturbances, which in the longer term will require psychiatric treatment.
Aiming to train people in order to provide them with knowledge and skills on cure of children and their families, to integrate them in public health system, to sensitize primary health care professionals to mental health issues Medecines Sans Frontiere - Belge (MSF-B) and Mental Health Foundation elaborated joint project. The overall objective of this project was the creation of sustainable network, which provided both curative and preventive services to children and their families affected by the war in Karabakh. The project was implemented by MSF-B. In the framework of this project specialists of Mental Health Foundation conducted training for primary health care professionals in order to provide them with knowledge on early detection of mental health problems. Also, counselors from all Nagorno Karabakh were trained.