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Principal Investigator: Micheal Pluess, Queen Mary University of London


Many children in war-affected settings with a need for psychological treatment don’t have access to mental health services. Humanitarian health organisations working in these settings tend to be confronted with many obstacles, including lack of funding to set up new mental health services, difficulties in recruiting qualified local staff, and restricted access of the refugee population to primary health care centres. These challenges are difficult to address with conventional mental health services, which tend to be provided by mental health specialists in centralised primary health care centres. In order to overcome these hurdles, this project will adapt and evaluate the existing transdiagnostic psychological treatment programme CETA (Common Elements Treatment Approach) for the delivery by trained lay counsellors over phone. If found to be effective, telephone-delivered CETA (t-CETA) will facilitate the provision of psychological intervention for children in humanitarian emergency and other low-resource settings with limited access to mental health services.


MdM volunteers celebrating a beneficiary’s birthday in a in informal settlement in Barr Elias in Bekaa, Lebanon. Credits: Patricia Moghames, Medecins du Monde- Lebanon.
MdM volunteers with beneficiaries in an informal settlement in Zahle in Bekaa, Lebanon. Credits: Lea Telayni, Medecins du Monde – Lebanon
Mental Health team supporting a Syrian refugee woman in a primary health centre in Bekaa
Refugee settlement in the Bekaa valley

Expected Outcomes

This project will produce a detailed manual and training materials for a telephone-delivered psychological intervention (t-CETA) as well as empirical data on the efficacy of t-CETA in comparison to face-to-face CETA and treatment as usual (randomised controlled trial). Besides producing manuals, reports and scientific publications, we will also organise workshops in Lebanon and the United Kingdom to introduce t-CETA and provide information on its implementation to interested academics, clinicians, organisations and agencies.


Article Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Mental health research among Syrian refugees in Lebanon: challenges and solutions

Guidance COVID-19, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Guidance for the delivery of psychological therapy to children by phone

Latest Updates

Why do Syrian refugees in Lebanon not use available mental health services?

Aug 2019

After surveying more than 1,000 families in Lebanon, the team found that many of them agreed to a referral for mental health services but more than half did not enrol into treatment. They went back to ask why.


Providing individual psychological treatment to Syrian refugee children with Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA): First Impressions from Field Staff

Apr 2019

In this blog we describe the t-CETA project and provide first impression of providing CETA face-to-face by our team in the field in Lebanon.


Researchers develop new guidance for the delivery of psychological therapy to children by phone

Apr 2020

The team created a free online resource for mental health services now looking to deliver psychological therapy remotely to children amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.


Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN)

Details of the study have been posted on the MHIN Innovations database

Visit MHIN website

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