Supporting the Mental Health of Minorities

Sexual, gender and ethnic minorities have faced significant health-related difficulties, especially in terms of mental health. In the past decade, many studies have been published focusing on the mental health scenario for these groups. There is a need to develop and implement various initiatives, including social support groups, to provide discrimination-free assistance.

Trauma Recovery Center

For adult survivors of trauma, violence, and loss through an innovative, clinically-proven model of comprehensive care, advocacy, and outreach. The goal of the organisation is to eliminate barriers to healing and inspire survivors to embrace hope. Based in San Francisco, USA.

National Crime Victim Law Institute

The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) is a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit legal education and advocacy organization based at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. NCVLI actively promotes comprehensive and enforceable legal rights for crime victims, and access to knowledgeable attorneys to help protect those rights in every case, through victim centered legal advocacy, education, and resources.

National Center for PTSD

A US-based research and educational center on PTSD and traumatic stress. Their mission is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America’s Veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from PTSD, through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders.

What to Expect After a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event?

Shock and denial are typical responses. Shock is a sudden and often intense disturbance of your emotional state that may leave you feeling stunned, numb or dazed. Denial involves your not acknowledging that something very stressful has happened, or not experiencing fully the intensity of the event. After shock subsides, reactions vary from one person to another (open the link for more information). There are a number of steps you can take to help restore emotional well-being and a sense of control following a disaster or other traumatic experience (open the link for more information).

Survivors of Torture, International

Survivors of Torture International in San Diego, California, is a multidisciplinary service organization of providers who include medical and mental health workers, as well as other professionals. SURVIVORS also hosts regular trainings for students and professionals about how to appropriately identify, refer, and serve survivors of torture. Torture treatment services were established in 1997.

BREAK THEM DOWN – Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces

This report is the first to comprehensively examine the use of psychological torture by US personnel in the so- called “war on terror.”1 It reviews the techniques used on detainees, what clinical experience and studies reveal about the long-lasting and extremely devastating health consequences of psychological torture, how a regime of psychological torture came about and was perpetuated, and what the current status of psychological torture is in US policy.

United States Institute of Peace

USIP provides with lots of information not only on transitional justice, but also on different other related topics.

Trauma and PTSD Overview

A detailed Overview of Veterans Affairs research on PTSD, with chapters containing general information about PTSD, as well as about disaster and terrorism, war, and other types of trauma.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health

LGBTIQ people are diverse, come from all walks of life, and include people of all races and ethnicites, all ages, all socioeconomic statuses, and from all parts of the country. The perspectives and needs of LGBT people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities.

Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health

Homosexuality is not a mental disorder, but homophobia, stigma, and discrimination have negative effects on the health of MSM, lesbians, and other sexual minorities. The negative effects of social marginalization can be found in adolescent and adult MSM, for example, research has shown that MSM and other members of the LGBT community are at increased risk for a number of mental health problems.

Using the Minority Stress Model to Understand Depression in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals in Nebraska

Previous studies demonstrated the utility of the minority stress model in understanding health disparities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. Since most research has considered large metropolitan areas, predominantly in coastal regions of the United States, this research focuses on a midwestern state, Nebraska. This study sought to assess the relationships between depressive symptoms experienced by participants (N = 770) and minority stress variables, including experiences with violence, perceptions of discrimination, and respondents’ degree of self-acceptance of their LGBT identity. Regression analysis revealed that after controlling for demographic variables, self-acceptance, and perceived discrimination were correlated with depressive symptoms. These findings have implications for policy makers, public health planners, and health care providers. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health 2014.

Vicarious resilience: a new concept in work with those who survive trauma

This study explores the formulation of a new concept: vicarious resilience. It addresses the question of how psychotherapists who work with survivors of political violence or kidnapping are affected by their clients’stories of resilience. It focuses on the psychotherapists’ interpretations of their clients’ stories, and how they make sense of the impact that these stories have had on their lives. In semistructured interviews, 12 psychotherapists who work with victims of political violence and kidnapping were interviewed about their perceptions of their clients’ overcoming of adversity. A phenomenological analysis of the transcripts was used to describe the themes that speak about the effects of witnessing how clients cope constructively with adversity. These themes are discussed to advance the concept of vicarious resilience and how it can contribute to sustaining and empowering trauma therapists.

Conversation with Betsy Kawamura and Dr. Henrik Syse on Women Peace and Security in North Asia

Betsy Kawamura, founder of Women4NonViolence dialogues with Dr. Henrik Syse of PRIO and co-editor of “Journal of Military Ethics” about Women Peace and Security (WPS) in North Asia (Okinawa, Japan and the Korean Peninsula). Topics include the Battle of Okinawa, North Korean refugee women, the Status of Force Agreement SOFA, the Recreation and Amusement Association….
Henrik Syse, PhD Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) / Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Björknes University College / Editor, Journal of Military Ethics /Freelance lecturer / Member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee 2015 – 2020 Email: Journal of Military Ethics:…
Below are the basic questions asked by Dr. Syse in this dialog 
(1) You are truly engaged with the WPS agenda, not least wishing to expand consciousness about that agenda in North-East Asia. Why? Where does your engagement come from?
(2) You are preoccupied with history, and you tell me that some articles from the Journal of Military Ethics, which I co-edit, including one on war crimes at Okinawa during and
after WW II, have been important to you. What’s the importance of history in addressing WPS concerns today?
(3) You want to reach out to military audiences. Do you think there is enough attention to sexualized violence and WPS more broadly among military personnel today? If not, what can be done to rectify that?
(4) Looking at your own path ahead, as an activist and as someone who knows this terrain well, what do you think are the most important next steps? And who do you need to work with in order to realize those steps?

Webinar: COVID-19 Threats to Detention Center/Prison Populations

With Dr. Scott Allen, Eunice Cho, and Gerald Staberock

In the sixth installment of PHR’s webinar series, PHR Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Ranit Mishori moderated a discussion on COVID-19 and detention center/prison populations featuring Dr. Scott Allen, Eunice Cho, and Gerald Staberock. They discussed the U.S. and international response to the danger of contagion in these densely populated environments, questions concerning access to care for inmates and staff, and how judgments being made today will shape the landscape of legal precedent going forward.

To watch the webinar please click on the link below:

Deprivation and Despair: The Crisis of Medical Care at Guantánamo

A new report by the Center for Victims of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights reveals that the experiences of detainees and independent civilian medical experts with medical care at the Guantánamo Bay detention center not only broadly refute the claim that detainees receive care equivalent to that of U.S. service members, but also evidence specific violations of the Nelson Mandela Rules, the universally recognized UN standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners, which the United States has championed. Guantánamo should be closed. Unless and until that happens, the Center for Victims of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights call upon Congress, the executive branch, and the courts to adopt a series of recommendations aimed at meaningfully improving the status quo.

Shedding light on a dark practice

This book is primarily intended for health and legal professionals who work with or are likely to come into contact with torture survivors, but anyone with an interest in the question of torture will find useful insights. These short articles provide an array of illuminating and readable perspectives on different aspects of a complicated subject. Together they comprise an excellent introduction to the many challenges and opportunities associated with the task of establishing medical evidence in cases of alleged torture.

Human Rights Advocates

HRA is a human rights organization based in Berkeley, California. We are dedicated to promoting and protecting international human rights in the United States and abroad. HRA addresses the panoply of human rights issues, including minority and bodies on the human rights aspects of such issues as: minority and peoples rights; the rights of the child; juvenile criminal sentencing; trafficking in women and children; migrant worker rights; the right to housing; the right to food; affirmative action; corporate accountability; and human rights and the environment.

Casa Alianza – Covenant House

Since 1981, our Casa Alianza (Spanish for Covenant House) programs have been providing shelter, protection and rehabilitation for children and teenagers in Latin America who are abused, abandoned, trafficked, addicted or left to the streets. Our team is a group of internationally recognized experts in children’s human rights passing critical legislation to establish and enforce policies that protect kids and punish traffickers.

Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in male survivors of sexual abuse

Common Types of and Prevalence Estimates for Exposure to Traumatic Stressors. Within the U.S. as many as 1 in 4 males will experience some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime. The number of males who are sexually abused during military service is greater than the number of female service members. As many as 50% of the children who are sex trafficked in the US are males.

Torture in the Americas: The law and practice

This report builds on the presentations and discussions of the Americas Regional Experts Meeting on the Law and Practice on Torture, as well as information shared by experts on the basis of their expertise and experience in litigation and advocacy on torture related issues. The participants completed a questionnaire regarding the law and practice of torture in their jurisdiction and made presentations at the meeting covering national practice as well as thematic issues. The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange information and experiences on litigating torture cases and advocating legal and institutional reforms.

CDA Practical learning for effective international action

A non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), committed to improving the effectiveness of international actors who provide humanitarian assistance, engage in peace practice, and are involved in supporting sustainable development.

The Role of Women in Stabilization and Reconstruction

This report summarizes the challenges in supporting women in the process of transitional justice, also focusing on the important role women play here. There are also suggestions how to implement solutions (24 pages, .pdf, for historical reference).

Preliminary adaptations for working with traumatized Latino/Hispanic children and their families

It is important to provide culturally sensitive trauma-informed treatment to Latino/Hispanic clients. While many of the following recommendations are good practice when working with Latino/Hispanic clients, it is also important to remain flexible. The intervention that works with one family may not be appropriate for another.

PTSD Alliance

A group of professional and advocacy organizations that have joined forces to provide educational resources to individuals diagnosed with PTSD and their loved ones; those at risk for developing PTSD; and medical, healthcare and other frontline professionals.

Resilience and recovery after war: Refugee children and families in the United States

When working with refugee children and their families, the most effective practitioners provide comprehensive services, are culturally competent, and integrate evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence. Truly rich multicultural practice involves a process of community engagement that allows for dialogue, questioning, and adaptation of practice to fit a group’s beliefs and values while still providing culturally informed, effective care.

Screening and assessing immigrant and refugee youth in school-based mental health programs

According to the (2000) Census, 1 of every 5 children in the United States is a child of immigrants  either a child who is an immigrant or has at least one immigrant parent. While most children who experience mental health problems have limited access to help, children who have migrated to this country, especially under difficult circumstances, face particular challenges.

CPC Learning Network

The CPC Learning Network is an active cadre of member organizations who are capable of collaboratively employing assessment methodologies and able to identify, quantify, and understand the causes and consequences of key child care and protection concerns.

Rehabilitation as a form of reparation under International law

The Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparations for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law (Basic Principles) further clarify this right. These Principles indicate the types of reparation that may be needed, depending on the particular circumstances of the case, to afford adequate and effective reparation to victims, explicitly recognising five forms of reparation for such violations: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.

Children, torture and psychological consequences

Deliberate infliction of pain and suffering or intimidation or coercion on children to obtain a confession or information, for punishment of real or perceived offences on the basis of discrimination about race, ethnic or political affiliation, is practiced in many places around the world. Impact of torture on children may vary depending on the child’s coping strategies, cultural and social circumstances.

Sexual violence against women and girls in war and its aftermath: realities, responses, and required resources

Addressing GBV requires coordinated, inter-agency, and multi-sectoral strategies that aim for prevention through policy reform and implementation of protective mechanisms and building the capacity of health, social welfare, legal and security systems to recognize, monitor, and respond to GBV; in addition to ensure rapid and respectful services to survivors (34 pages, .pdf. for historical reference).

Health Challenges for Refugees and Immigrants

This Refugee Reports focuses on refugee health in the United States, beginning with an article about the general healthcare challenges facing refugees and immigrants. John Poon provides a case study of Afghan refugees trying to gain access to necessary health services. José Quiroga discusses the physical and mental health needs of torture victims. Several reports feature the important mental health issues facing newcomers as well as refugee-specific information about vaccinations and civil surgeons.

Because I am a Girl: the State of the Worlds Girls reports

The public images of war focus almost exclusively on young men  armed forces, suicide bombers, young men throwing stones at soldiers. The fact that girls remain invisible casts a long shadow on their involvement in war, particularly as the changing nature of war and conflict means that increasingly, civilians are affected as war is played out closer to people’s homes.

People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning PDHRE

PDHRE is a non-profit, international service organization that works directly and indirectly with its network of affiliates  primarily women’s and social justice organizations  to develop and advance pedagogies for human rights education relevant to people’s daily lives in the context of their struggles for social and economic justice and democracy.

David V. Baldwins Trauma Information Page

These Trauma Pages focus primarily on emotional trauma and traumatic stress, including PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) and dissociation, whether following individual traumatic experience(s) or a large-scale disaster.

Human Rights Education Associates

(HREA) is an international non-governmental organisation that supports human rights learning; the training of activists and professionals; the development of educational materials and programming; and community-building through on-line technologies. HREA is dedicated to quality education and training to promote understanding, attitudes and actions to protect human rights, and to foster the development of peaceable, free and just communities.

International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

Transitional justice is a response to systematic or widespread violations of human rights. It seeks recognition for victims and to promote possibilities for peace, reconciliation and democracy. Transitional justice is not a special form of justice but justice adapted to societies transforming themselves after a period of pervasive human rights abuse. In some cases, these transformations happen suddenly; in others, they may take place over many decades.

Trauma and Transitional Justice in divided Societies

The international community now recognizes that accounting for what happened during the conflict, seeking justice for those who were wronged, and promoting peaceful reconciliation among combatants and their broader societies are among the most important needs of countries emerging from violent conflict. While much has been written about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—the psychological distress that individuals may develop following exposure to an upsetting event outside the range of normal human experience—the role that trauma plays in these processes on the broader societal level is less well understod.

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS)

The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) has internationally recognized certifications for trauma responders. It is a membership Association which develops standards of service and education for those who provide critical emotional care to trauma victims and survivors. ATSS has always endeavored to recognize and support both service providers and the consumers affected by all aspects of trauma in the international setting. ATSS is dedicated to excellence in training, education and experience to ensure that victims of crime, abuse, war, terrorism and disasters receive the most compassionate and effective care as possible.