Community Case Detection Tool

Millions of conflict-affected children with mental health problems are denied access to treatment

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Driving detection forward

Research Lead
“A small-scale evaluation of the tool conducted in the occupied Palestinian territory shows that over 75% of children were correctly identified as in need of mental health care. Given the large number of children who don’t get the help they need, this is a promising first step.”

Myrthe van den Broek, Researcher

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Want to learn more or ask a question? Contact Myrthe via email or LinkedIn.
(photo: Yvonne Compier)


Barriers to care

  • Conflict-affected children face major barriers in accessing potentially life-saving mental healthcare services
  • Barriers include low awareness of available services and the perception that treatment is ineffective; even shameful
  • Innovative and low-cost solutions are urgently required

Illustrated narratives

The CCD Tool is made up of illustrated narratives depicting common examples of children experiencing emotional, behavioural and/or family problems. Each narrative is based on specific cultural idioms of distress to allow for simple identification – and can be adapted to the specific context in which it is used.

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This simple, innovative format is inexpensive – and allows for widespread distribution. For more information on the set-up and development of this intervention download our dedicated fact sheet now.


The page of illustrations is paired with a simple decision diagram - which allows trained community facilitators to identify children and families in need of support.

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Facilitators can then refer people in need to an in-depth assessment performed by a trained professional - allowing for care or further referral to available services. Download the tool here.


Our partners

The 'low cost, high potential' model behind our Community Case Detection Tool simply wouldn't be possible without the support of a variety of local and international partners.

These partners include TPO Uganda, the Palestinian Counselling Center and ESCO (Eastern Self-Reliant Community Awakening Organization).



A pilot study has been completed in nine schools and two community based organisations in oPt. Further research is ongoing in Sri Lanka.



The exact percentage of children who were proactively detected through the tool as in need of psychological treatment during our pilot in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Next steps

Our research agenda

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To develop and test a strategy for community gate-keepers to encourage help seeking and increase access to services 2020-2021.

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Meet our Research and Development Team

Myrthe is a PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam with a Master of Science (MSc) in Anthropology. Myrthe is also a member of War Child’s Research and Development team where she leads our efforts to increase access to adequate services for children and adolescents in humanitarian settings.

Team members: Puvaneswary Ponniah, Sandra Agondeze, Rosco Kasujja, and Mark Jordans.

Community Case Detection Tool War Child Sri Lanka teachers and researcher Myrthe

Photo: War Child Holland