Vikram Patel, 2003
Attitudes towards mental illness have changed, with more people coming forward for treatment. Despite this positive development, access to mental health care in low-income countries is still extremely poor and there is a serious shortage of mental health care workers. However, most of these countries have large numbers of community workers who could be deployed to deliver mental health care if they had the necessary knowledge and skills. Where there is no Psychiatrist might go some way in Providing such knowledge and skills.
In the past decade there has been an increasing focus on forgiveness and reconciliation in societies coming out of conflict. The concepts were previously the domain of philosophers and theologians but have become integrally linked to questions of political transition.
Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, are still embroiled in, or emerging from, long-term warfare. Women and girls in these countries are most vulnerable to gender-based violence and need special protection measures. This study on the situation of war-affected girls and women in the region highlights programmes being implemented with partners to address the impact of conflict, and recommends how UNICEF can more proactively champion the rights of girls – particularly adolescent girls.
There are many ways to improve the lives of people with mental disorders. One important way is through policies, plans and programmes that lead to better services. To implement such policies and plans, one needs good legislationthat is, laws that place the policies and plans in the context of internationally accepted human rights standards and good practices. This Resource Book aims to assist countries in drafting, adopting and implementing such legislation. It does not prescribe a particular legislative model for countries, but rather highlights the key issues and principles to be incorporated into legislation.
These guidelines reflect the insights of practitioners from different geographic regions, disciplines and sectors, and reflect an emerging consensus on good practice among practitioners. The core idea behind them is that, in the early phase of an emergency, social supports are essential to protect and support mental health and psychosocial well-being. In addition, the guidelines recommend selected psychological and psychiatric interventions for specific problems.
Save the children
The Field Guide to Child Soldier Programs in Emergencies is intended for Save the Children staff and partners designing and implementing either a program focused fully on child soldiers, or a child soldiers-focused component of a broader program for war-affected children. This field guide is meant to be useful both for staff that have limited experience with child soldier programming and for experienced staff that wish to improve their understanding of particular aspects of child soldier programs.
Brandon Hamber & Richard Wilson
Countries going through democratic transition have to address how they will deal with the human rights crimes committed during the authoritarian era. In the context of amnesty for perpetrators, truth commissions have emerged as a standard institution to document the violent past. Increasingly, claims are made that truth commissions have beneficial psychological consequences; that is, that they facilitate ‘catharsis’, or ‘heal the nation’, or allow the nation to ‘work through’ a violent past. This article draws upon trauma counseling experience and anthropological fieldwork among survivors to challenge these claims in the context of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Declaration of cooperation – Mental health of refugees, displaced and other populations affected by conflict and post-conflict situations
Conflicts subject people to frequent and gross human rights violations. This Declaration is intended to serve as a working instrument. It provides a framework to achieve increased consensus and cooperation in operational models, including policy strategies, and programs. It is aimed at promoting evidence-based, holistic and community-based approaches that are effective and which can be implemented rapidly (for historical reference).
Robert J. Muscat, Global Peace Services USA
The interactions between mental health and socioeconomic functioning are complex. Much remains to be learned. Causation runs both ways. Post conflict mental health disabilities affecting the economic, social, and learning behavior of significant numbers of people can have deleterious effects on socioeconomic recovery. Community dynamics and economic conditions, good or bad, feedback on the prospects for individuals mental health recovery.
This module is part of the WHO Mental Health Policy and Service guidance package, which provides practical information to assist countries to improve the mental health of their populations. Important for countries that are rebuilding their governance.