An Afghan woman’s story: Fighting for a better life

In Afghanistan, most families strongly believe that their female members should stay at home concern themselves with housework. In general, women are anything but encouraged to get an education and/or have a professional career. This personal reflection shows that Afghani women, with support, can develop their competences and enjoy life.

 

The girl who wanted to stand-up in class and speak to her classmates

There are several factors that can lead to social anxiety disorder (fear of being judged or rejected), such as genetics, environmental factors, learned experiences, deficits in social skills, cognitive factors and/or culture. Considering all these factors, there are many people prone to develop social anxiety disorder in Afghanistan. In a recent study conducted at Herat University, it was shown that many students suffer from social anxiety disorder.

From the editors . . . An introduction to a Special Issue: A focus on mental health and psychosocial support in Afghanistan

Afghanistan continues to face extraordinary challenges after almost 40 years of continuous armed conflict. Despite these difficulties, many Afghans have been working tirelessly to protect, rebuild, develop and maintain their national institutions. One such effort was the National Strategy for a Mentally Healthy Afghanistan [Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GOIRA), & Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), 2009], which recognised the impact of conflict on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.

Compassionate care provision : an immense need during the refugee crisis : lessons learned from a European capacity-building project

Background:

The refugee crisis has resulted in massive waves of migration towards Europe. Besides sufficient and appropriate healthcare services, these vulnerable populations need kindness, respect, acceptance, empathy, and attention to basic needs. Healthcare professionals ought to have a respectful and compassionate approach to safeguard the dignity and interests of the people they care for.

 

Aim:

Development and evaluation of a web-based capacity building course in the EUR-HUMAN project to support primary health care professionals in the provision of high-quality care for refugees and migrants

Background:

The ongoing refugee crisis has revealed the need for enhancing primary health care (PHC) professionals’ skills and training.

 

Objectives:

The aim was to strengthen PHC professionals in European countries in the provision of high-quality care for refugees and migrants by offering a concise modular training that was based on the needs of the refugees and PHC professionals as shown by prior research in the EUR-HUMAN project.

 

Methods:

Trauma and resilience in unaccompanied minor refugees : Considerations and findings

Unaccompanied refugee minors where confronted with war, terror or disaster in their country. Forced by attrocious circumstances, they had to edcape their homeland and to migate to other an often unfamiliar countries or even continents.

Towards an Afghan counselling psychology : A partnership to integrate psychological counselling into the university curriculum at Afghanistan’s flagship public universities

Developing sustainable efforts to address the psychosocial consequences of complex emergencies is often a challenge. There is a limit to what humanitarian efforts can achieve, even with the best of intentions. Locally based tertiary education programmes are needed to provide conceptual frameworks and to develop and sustain professional psychosocial support programmes both during and after the emergency.

Value-based counselling : Reflections on fourteen years of psychosocial support in Afghanistan

The psychosocial and mental health support system in Afghanistan has evolved significantly over the last decades. Inge Missmahl, founder and director of the International Psychosocial Organisation gGmbH traces the history of the sector over the last fourteen years and reflects on working towards the long-term integration of biopsychosocial mental health care in the Afghan Public Health System. Health system integration was accomplished through development and training delivery of a value-based counselling approach.

Studying the effectiveness of motivational group therapy in heroin addicts in Kabul

Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of substance use in the world, yet existing treatment focuses on detoxification, residential rehabilitation and with very low intensity aftercare. Current available treatment should be changed to more evidence-based modalities, such as structured psychosocial interventions. In addition, the main role of affect in development, maintenance and abstinence of substance use disorders should be also taken into account.

The efficacy of memory specificity training in improving symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in bereaved Afghan adolescents

The main objective of this study was to study the effectiveness of memory specificity training (MEST) on the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of bereaved Afghan adolescents. Participants were bereaved Afghan adolescents with PTSD and depressive symptomatology and were randomly assigned into the MEST, trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT) and a control group. In this study, a quasi-experimental design with pretest–post-test and follow-up with experimental and control groups was used.

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