Trauma-related mental health problems among national humanitarian staff: A systematic review of the literature

Background: Working in humanitarian crisis situations is dangerous. National humanitarian staff in particular face the risk of primary and secondary trauma exposure which can lead to mental health problems. Despite this, research on the mental health of national staff is scarce, and a systematic analysis of up-to-date findings has not been undertaken yet.

EMDR for Syrian refugees with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial

Background: The most common mental health problems among refugees are depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective treatment for PTSD. However, no previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) has been published on treating PTSD symptoms in a refugee camp population.
Objective: Examining the effect of EMDR to reduce the PTSD and depression symptoms compared to a wait-list condition among Syrian refugees.

From Individual to Collective healing: A trainer’s manual.

We are aware that in low resource settings, psychosocial wellbeing is affected by exposure
to many different sources of difficulty and distress. This might be exposure to armed
conflict that in turn directly affects mental health and psychosocial functioning. However
not all distress (including psychological trauma) is related to the conflict itself or to the
stressful conditions it so often generates. Chronic problems like poor housing and poverty
as well as more intense experiences, such as physical and sexual abuse, frightening medical

We are not numbers : Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

“There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” --Arundhati Roy

When the world talks about Palestinians living under occupation and in refugee camps, it is usually in terms of politics and numbers – specifically, how many killed, injured, homeless and/or dependent on aid.

World Health organization guidelines for management of acute stress, PTSD, and bereavement: key challenges on the road ahead

Wietse Tol and colleagues discuss some of the key challenges for implementation of new WHO guidelines for stress-related mental health disorders in low- and middle-income countries. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.

Mental, neurological, and substance use problems among refugees in primary health care: analysis of the Health Information System in 90 refugee camps

Background: Population-based epidemiological research has established that refugees in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) are at increased risk for a range of mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) problems. Improved knowledge of rates for MNS problems that are treated in refugee camp primary care settings is needed to identify service gaps and inform resource allocation.

Social capital and mental health: connextions and complexities in contexts of post conflict recovery

In war affected populations there is often severe disruption of societal cohesion. Additionally, grief and traumatisation, along with insufficient health services and a lack of security, give rise to an increase of mental health problems. Social capital is potentially a key resource to support post conflict recovery, and is increasingly considered not merely as a resource supporting economic and social development, but also an important influence on population health. However, linkages between social capital and mental health are complex.

WHO's response to the lack of available mental health services in low- and middle-income countries: mhGAP

The website of the World Health Organization
(WHO) on the WHO Mental Health Gap Action
Programme (mhGAP) opens by stating
that “mental, neurological, and substance use
disorders are common in all regions of the
world, affecting every community and age group across
all income countries. While 14% of the global burden
of disease is attributed to these disorders, most of the
people affected - 75% in many low-income countries -
do not have access to the treatment they need”.1

Special issue: New frontiers

From the editor: new frontiers
New frontiers in mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in low resource and conflict affected settings
Rethinking mental health care: bridging the credibility gap
Resource caravans and resource caravan passageways: a new paradigm for trauma responding
War experiences, daily stressors and mental health five years on: elaborations and future directions
Addressing collective trauma: conceptualisations and interventions
Using mixed methods to build knowledge of refugee mental health