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Iraqi Cultural Center discusses rebuilding of behavioral health system

October 21, 2010
by Press Release
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Rockville, MD — Today, the Iraqi Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. will host a first-of its-kind public discussion among behavioral health specialists from Iraq and the U.S. about Iraq’s increasingly effective behavioral healthcare programs and how the lessons learned in treating severe trauma there can be applied in the U.S. and elsewhere.

A press conference for credentialed press will follow the discussion. The discussion will focus on the achievements and remaining challenges of a six-year partnership between the Iraqi government and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to rebuild and expand Iraq’s mental health services capacity.

Since 2004, the Iraq-SAMHSA Partnership on Behavioral Health has helped Iraq re-establish its behavioral health service system through sponsoring planning conferences and enabling Iraqi behavioral health leaders, including those attending this session, to visit U.S. host sites featuring interventions the Iraqis want to implement in their country.

The public discussion will highlight workshop presentations held throughout the preceding two days on key aspects of the Iraq-SAMHSA Partnership initiative. Special attention will be given to Iraqi advances in treating those experiencing severe trauma and how those advances could be helpful in treating others U.S. soldiers returning home from combat and others experiencing exposure to trauma.