Peacebuilding and psychosocial intervention : the critical need to address everyday post conflict experiences in northern Uganda



The complex set of phenomena posed by societies affected by violence has prompted calls for integration and coordination between peacebuilding and psychosocial work. The ways in which psychosocial support interventions are implemented can contribute to, or impede, the peacebuilding process. In northern Uganda, a rise in cases of suicide, domestic violence and substance abuse has pointed to the pressing need to better understand the experiences and stressors of individuals and communities navigating post conflict life.

Sex-dependent differences in oxytocin receptor gene methylation between posttraumatic stress disorder patients and trauma-exposed healthy controls


Rationale: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric condition that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event. PTSD risk may depend on an interaction between genetic and environmental vulnerability factors. Epigenetic processes such as DNA-methylation are responsive to environmental factors (e.g. stress) and can alter gene-expression, and have been found to mediate between trauma exposure and PTSD development [1].

Traumatized refugees : identifying needs and facing challenges for mental health care

In the past few years the number of refugees worldwide has increased dramatically. Many of them were traumatized in their homelands due to violent conflict or persecution, as well as during their flight, and are confronted with ongoing stressors in the exile countries. In order to contribute to enhancing the clinical knowledge, this special issue of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology focuses on traumatized refugees.

Special Issue : Linking mental health and psychosocial support and peacebuilding


From the Editor, Editorial Board and Editorial Staff: towards a new era for Intervention
Tankink, Marian

Introduction to Special Issue: linking mental health and psychosocial support to peacebuilding in an integrated way
Bubenzer, Friederike; Tankink, Marian


Building sustainable peace through an integrated approach to peacebuilding and mental health and psychosocial support: a literature review
Tankink, Marian; Bubenzer, Friederike

Harrowing journeys : Children and youth on the move across the Mediterranean Sea, at risk of trafficking and exploitation

Young migrants and refugees set out to escape harm or secure better futures – and face staggering risks in the process. For 17-yearold Mohammad, who travelled through Libya to seek asylum in Italy, violence and persecution back home meant the choice was clear: “We risked our lives to come here,” he says, “we crossed a sea. We knew it is not safe, so we sacrificed. We do it, or we die.”

'I want to go home, but i am afraid' : The impact of war on Mosul's children

In early July 2017, the coalition1 military offensive to oust so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Mosul reached its grisly climax. Civilians have borne the brunt of this conflict, with half a million school-aged children amongst the displaced. 2 Amid the horror of the ISIS occupation of Iraq’s cities and villages, it is comforting to believe that once the group has been defeated militarily, normality will return and traumas inflicted will quickly recede. Yet in the medium to long-term, the suffering of Mosul’s children looks set to continue.

An attitude of helplessness : basic counselling in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo has suffered armed conflict for over 20 years, with the eastern provinces being particularly impacted by destruction and structural violence. The consequences of this ongoing violence are visible on the streets and in the homes of the people, as well as specifically affecting the minds of the country's youth. This personal reflection highlights the work of a psychologist at a vocational training centre in Bukavu.

Bridging the gap in mental health and psychosocial services in low resource settings : a case study in Sudan

Sudan has endured the longest civil war in Africa, with ongoing conflict since 1983. As a result, it has one of the largest internally displaced populations on the continent. The gap in care for mental health in Sudan is large, therefore, most of the people affected do not have access to the treatment they need (World Helath Organization, 2009). Mental health facilities in current day Sudan are few and concentrated in urban centres, where they are difficult to access and lack adequately trained professionals who are, in particular, lacking training for trauma related disorders.