Since the beginning of 2003 we have shared information about mental health and human rights violation 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 focus on mental health and mental wellbeing would improve the health of the 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.
The oraganisation 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. Their generous financial contribution has made this organisation possible. The development of the training manual, “Mental Health and Gender Based Violence” is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bonheur ASA.
Responsible for the daily work of mHHRI are Nora Sveaass, Elisabeth Ng Langdal, Mónica Orjuela, Sara Skilbred-Fjeld 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 web site, 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 and Elin Doeland.
Nora SveaassChair of the board
Nora is a clinical psychologist and a Professor 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, she is currently a member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. 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.
Elisabeth Ng LangdalExecutive Director
Elisabeth is a human geographer with focus on health and developing countries, with an intermediate subject in anthropology, she also holds a 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.
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.
Sara Skilbred-Fjeld is our new communications resource.
Merete NergaardBoard 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 in establishing a program for teacher training in Montessori pedagogy.
Mette NesleinBoard member
Mette is 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 RingnesBoard 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 psychotherapist and with couple counseling in Oslo. She is also involved in investment business and charity foundations.