About

In a wold marked by conflict, displacement, and human rights violations, addressing the psychosocial well-being of affected individuals is important. Mental Health and Human Rights Info (MHHRI) is dedicated to improving the mental health of those exposed to severe human rights abuses in war conflict and natural disaster.

With a commitment to accessibility and empowerment, MHHRI serves as a vital resource, catering to health care professionals, human rights advocates, and caregivers alike. Our aim is grounded in the belief that access to information and knowledge is important to create change for people who have been exposed to human rights abuse.

About MHHRI

Our aim

Since the beginning of 2003, we have shared information about mental health and human rights violations in emergency, war and conflict areas. When the World Health Organization in 2019 included Mental disorders and other mental health conditions to the big four non-communicable diseases (NCDs) risk factors, it became evident that focusing on mental health and mental well-being would improve the health of people everywhere. To acknowledge this, we changed our logo. The logo now confirms the focus of our work – Mental Health and Human rights info. Mental Health and Human Rights Info (MHHRI) aims to make resources on mental health more accessible to health professionals and others working with people exposed to human rights violations in disaster, war and conflict areas.

We gather open-source material and categorize it thematically through evaluation, analysis, and editing to provide a reliable and comprehensive database.

We hope this information will be of practical use and support in situations where more specialized services for mental healthcare are not available and where the provision of such services is essential.

Capacity Building: Through the development and dissemination of gender-based violence manuals tailored to the unique of helpers and caregivers, MHHRI has empowered frontline workers with the knowledge and the skills necessary to provide culturally sensitive psychosocial support. From vulnerable women, boys and men in war and conflict zones to children exposed to sexual abuse, our manuals serve as invaluable guides in fostering support and resilience.

Global Outreach: MHHRI´s reach extends far beyond geographical boundaries, with a focus on regions affected by conflict and displacement. Through webinars, seminars, and conferences, we facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration, ensuring that good practices in mental health support are accessible to those who need them most. By communicating through newsletters and social media we average around 400,000 dedicated individuals.

Contributors

The organisation is funded by the Mental Health Project, a Norwegian NGO dedicated to training and support to health professionals working within the field of human rights violations, conflict and health and Fred. Olsen Social Engagement Group, on behalf of Bonheur ASA. Their generous financial contribution has made this organisation possible. The development of the training manuals, “Mental Health and Gender Based Violence” is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bonheur ASA, DAM Foundation in collaboration with Rådet For Psykisk Helse.

The people

Responsible for the daily work of MHHRI are Nora Sveaass, Elisabeth Ng Langdal, Mónica Orjuela, Anna Fedina and the board. In addition, an informal group of international professionals is available to ensure that the material selected and presented has a good professional and ethical standard and may be relevant for the work in question.

MHHRI has also established a group of highly qualified professionals for the development and implementation of its GBV Manual. Over the years many have contributed to this website, in particular, the council of ISHHR, Sigurd Kraft Gulbrandsen, Magnar Naustdalslid, Caroline Garcia-Aarsæther, Igor Leon Quilquichicon, Monica Bothner, Engelke Randers, Nina Teran, Maria Elena Alvarez Manilla, Doris Drews, Tabassom Fanaian, Carla Filizola Rodrigues, Carolina Montoya, Silvia Gurrola, Elin Doeland, Sara Skilbred Fjeld and Sofia Colorado.

Board: Under the guidance of committed members such as Nora Sveaass, Nina Ringnes, Mette Neslein and Merete Nergaard, MHHRI’s board provides strategic direction and oversight, ensuring the organisation remains steadfast in its commitment to our aim.

Secretariat: Under the guidance of Managing Director Elisabeth Ng Langdal, our secretariat runs the day-to-day operations of MHHRI. Monica Orjuela is instrumental in our communication endeavors, while Anna Fedina spearheads our Ukraine project. Together, our team is committed to driving our work forward with efficiency and dedication.

Volunteers: The backbone of our organisation, our volunteers bring diverse skills and perspectives to our work. From psychiatrists, and psychologists to students, their unwavering dedication enables us to extend our reach and impact, ensuring that helpers get knowledge and that people get the help and support they need.

Resource group: We have established a resource group to strengthen the organisation’s work with mental health and human rights. The group gathers specialists to provide relevant expertise and support, ensure diverse perspectives, and contribute to networking nationally and internationally. The members are participating in resource development to ensure quality and updated material, thereby enhancing our ability to make a larger impact with our work. Our group consisted in these engaged professionals: Hanne Netland Simonsen, Wenche Fjeldstad, Helen Christie, Helen Suizu Norheim, Dors Drews, Sarah Hakim, Sofia Colorado, Alba Banoun, Harald Bækkelund, and Ingeborg Arntsen.

Annual reports

Annual report 2022

“There is no health without mental health.” UN. 
Read our annual report and explore further into our work at Mental Health and Human Rights Info. Through the development of training materials, educational initiatives, and practical guidance, we strive to make information accessible to everyone.

Key Highlights of 2022

  • Launch of the manual for caregivers working with vulnerable boys and men in war, conflict, and migration in Norwegian.
  • Completion of a manual for caregivers on culturally sensitive psychosocial support for children exposed to sexual abuse in humanitarian or emergency situations, tested in Nepal.
  • Conducted webinars, seminars, and conferences on the manual for caregivers dealing with vulnerable women, children, boys, and men in war, conflict, and displacement.
  • Established an Ukraine office as a direct response to the war in Ukraine for collaboration with relevant organisations to provide knowledge on mental support.
  • Received support from Bonheur ASA, Fred Olsen & Co, Norad, Stiftelsen Dam, HimalPartner, Forut, and various individuals, businesses, and institutions for the Ukraine project.

Read the full report here

Team

Nora Sveaass

Chair of the board

Nora is a clinical psychologist and a professor emerita at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo (UiO). Nora Sveaass chairs Health and Human Rights Info. From 2005-2013 she was a member of the UN Committee against Torture, and succeeded as a member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of ...Torture until 2023. When Nora was the head of International Society for Health and Human Rights she took initiative to establish HHRI. She has worked for many years with survivors of trauma and forced migration at UiO’s Psychosocial Centre for Refugees. She has done research in the context of projects on psychological treatment of refugees, both individually and in families. In addition, Nora was in charge of a collaborative research project under the NUFU programme, between UiO and the Universidad Centro Americana, Nicaragua in the period of 1996 – 2000. Research done under this project constituted part of her Ph.d. project – a family therapy project with refugee families conducted in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and the Psychosocial Center. At the Norwegian Centre for Traumatic Stress and Violence Studies, she was head of two projects focusing on mental health in reception centers for asylum seekers, initiated by the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs. She has also been Norwegian editor of Nordic Psychology and has published chapters, books and articles in the field of refugees, human rights, clinical and political psychology.

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Elisabeth Ng Langdal

Executive Director

Elisabeth is a human geographer with focus on health and developing countries, with an intermediate subject in anthropology, she also holds a separate bachelor’s in media and communication. From 2008 -2016 she was the deputy board director for FIAN Norway (Food First Information and Action Network) ...and has been actively engaged in the organizing committee for the annual Human International Documentary Film Festival held in Oslo. In addition to run the resource data-base on the consequences of human rights violations on mental health, she is one of the co-authors of “Mental Health and Gender-Based violence – a training manual”. This training manual focuses on mental health and early intervention, with special attention on GBV against women.

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Mónica Orjuela

Communication

Mónica is a social communicator and photographer. Graduated in Social Anthropology at the Externado University of Colombia, master in Communication in Armed Conflicts, Peace and Social Movements; at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has been working for 12 years in communication and social ... movements in Colombia and 4 years in Norway. With emphasis on audiovisual communication, management of web sites and social networks. She works as a journalist in topics about Latin America in Radio Latinamerika, and podcaster about Feminism.

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Anna Fedina

Ukraine Office Coordinator

Anna has been attending Teaching Recovery Techniques - training with Children and War Foundation - and has translated our powerpoint presentations into Ukrainian, so Ukrainian participants who received certification use it when training others in Ukraine or in the surrounding areas. In addition to t ...his, she is also engaged in the International Child Development Programme (ICDP) and has also translated their presentation into Ukrainian.

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Merete Nergaard

Board member

Merete received her PhD in clinical psychology from Pacific Graduate School, California (1985). Her psychoanalytic training was at the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently she practices psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Oslo. Nergaard was cofounder of Oslo Montessoriskole and was active i ...n establishing a program for teacher training in Montessori pedagogy.

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Mette Neslein

Board member

Mette is an educated nurse and midwife. She has taken a bachelor degree at the University Of Oslo, with psychology, pedagogic and history of Ideas as combination. She is also educated by the Norwegian Acupuncture High school and has worked the last 16 years as an acupuncturist in Oslo.

Nina Ringnes

Board member

Nina graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in 1979 and she got her MBA from American Graduate School of International Management in 1985. Finally she was educated in psycho synthesis (2008) and in creative couple work (2010). Currently she works as a psychother ...apist and with couple counseling in Oslo. She is also involved in investment business and charity foundations.

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Contact us:

Nora Sveaass, dr. psychol.
Chair of the Board
post@hhri.org

Elisabeth Ng Langdal
Executive Director
post@hhri.org

Address: Mariboes gate 13, 0183 Oslo