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.

Integrating mental health care into primary care : the case of one rural district in Rwanda

Integration of mental health care into primary care is a strategic priority of Rwanda's national mental health care programme and a central tenet of global mental health. In 2009, the international health care delivery organisation, Partners In Health, established a community based mental health programme to support national planning goals.

Invisble wounds : the impact of six years of war on the mental health of Syria’s children

For the past six years, children in Syria have been bombed and starved. They have seen their friends and families die before their eyes or buried under the rubble of their homes. They have watched their schools and hospitals destroyed, been denied food, medicine and vital aid, and been torn apart from their families and friends as they flee the fighting. Every year that the war goes on plumbs new,  previously unimaginable depths of violence against children, and violations of international law by all sides.

Ghosts in the big city : surviving and adapting to internal displacement in Colombia, South America

The signing of the truce on 23 June 2016 and the finalisation of peace negotiations on 24 August 2016 marked the end of more than 50 years of continuous armed conflict in Colombia, South America and the transition to ‘post conflict’ status. According to annual reports from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre based in Geneva, Switzerland, Colombia has ranked first or second in numbers of internally displaced persons every year for the past 12 years, making forced migration a defining characteristic of the country.

In spite of the clarity of mental health and psychosocial core principles : the existence of a participation implementation gap

According to humanitarian minimal standards, humanitarian programmes should maximise participation of affected populations within their response. Participation has been a key point in proposals, evaluators are aware of it and every aid worker has heard of it. In theory, it is a perfectly implemented, well understood and a well respected construct. In the field of mental health and psychosocial support, participation is core principle number two.

Integrated psychosocial and food security approach in an emergency context : Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic, a political crisis started in 2013 that greatly affected the population. They were exposed to traumatogenic factors causing the emergence of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in large segments of the population. The situation of high food insecurity, combined with high levels of psychological distress, have significantly limited the population's coping strategies.

Youth resilience makes a difference in mitigating stress : teacher mediated school intervention in Bethlehem

This study examined the implementation of the Enhancing Resiliency Amongst Students Experiencing Stress intervention, which is a teacher mediated, evidence based school intervention, targeting youth who have been exposed to ongoing conflict. Our hypothesis was that posttraumatic symptom levels can be reduced when youth have higher levels of ego resilience and that this can be achieved through a teacher mediated, school intervention. We found that ego resilience is negatively related to posttraumatic symptom levels, while anxiety levels and impairment in functioning are positively related.

Perceived needs and daily stressors in an urban refugee setting : Humanitarian Emergency Settings Perceived Needs Scale survey of Syrian refugees in Kilis, Turkey

The largest number of Syrian refugees in the world are currently hosted in Turkey, with the great majority of them residing in urban settings. This paper presents the findings of The Humanitarian Emergency Settings Perceived Needs (HESPER) Scale survey conducted with the population of urban Syrian refugees in the town of Kilis in south-central Turkey in 2013. The high level and variety of perceived needs and daily stressors shows the magnitude and hardship in the urban Syrian refugee community in Kilis.

Comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support case management and indicative care pathways within humanitarian settings

This article describes the approach, implementation and evaluation of a pilot mental health and psychosocial support case management programme that was developed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Syria. The aim was to provide a description of the programme approach, its implementation and outputs. The programme integrates different forms of case management approaches based on a multi-layered, stepped care model. Earlier results of mixed method monitoring and evaluation revealed improvement in wellbeing among programme participants.

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