World Health Organisation and EQUIP Program

The mission statement for the WCCBT includes the desire to work with compatible global organizations on shared goals and objectives. These organizations include the World Health Organization, the United Nations (in particular, groups such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the UNHCR), but could include other established groups and associations, with a focus on evidence- based practice in general and the promotion of CBT, in particular.

In the past year, the WCCBT has had discussions with the World Health Organization related to their work in the area of mental health and specifically about their EQUIP guidelines, which are intended to “Ensure Quality in Psychological Support.” For readers who are not familiar with this initiative, the EQUIP program is a “joint WHO/UNICEF project to improve the competence of helpers and the consistency and quality of training and service delivery.”

EQUIP focuses on the training of evidence-based care in different areas but includes mental health and addictions. Like the WCCBT Training Guidelines, the EQUIP guidelines are transtheoretical and emphasize a competency-based approach.  EQUIP uses role plays and assessments of skills to train such competencies as verbal and nonverbal communication skills, problem management, behavioral activation techniques, cognitive techniques, problem solving techniques, motivational enhancement and a number of other interventions that are well known in the CBT community (for a full list of competencies, see

Board members of the WCCBT have had meetings with Dr. Mark van Ommeren of the WHO to discuss how the two organizations might be able to support their compatible goals. A memorandum of understanding is being set between WHO and the WCCBT, with the idea that experts in training and evaluation from the WCCBT could evaluate aspects of EQUIP, perhaps even adding to the competencies that are included there.

The WCCBT will be facilitating an online workshop on EQUIP in December to be run by James Underhill from the WHO. Further details will apper on the WCCBVT website shortly


Dr. Mark van Ommeren

Head of the mental health unit

WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use



Link to viseo