Newsletter. Are you a survivor?

Newsletter No 1. March 2021 Are you a survivor? A new page on the MHHRI website

07.01 2021

Overview of content:
For survivors: A new page on the MHHRI website
Meet a new friend: Global Network of Psychologists for Human Rights
Download the MHHRI GBV manual
Upcoming Events

Dear friends and colleagues

Our colleague Anne Margrethe Sønneland was interviewing survivors of human rights violations and observing court cases in Peru and Argentina for her PhD dissertation. In this process, Sønneland realized that many survivors had a lack of knowledge and information about their trauma reactions. Some suffered from a range of symptoms even decades after the traumatic event(s) took place and received no or very little professional help and support. Based on this experience, Anne Margrethe understood that the lack of information had serious consequences for these individuals, their families, and their communities. Also, from a human rights perspective, the lack of information and support is something that should be taken very seriously and needs to be changed. Therefore, Anne Margrethe contacted MHHRI and encouraged us to create a page with information for survivors.

We are very pleased to share this new page that is written for survivors of serious human rights violations. On the new For Survivors page, we start with two letters, one written to survivors and one written to people who are close to survivors. In these letters, we discuss the things that we consider to be the most important things that survivors and the people that are close to them should know. We also provide more information about human rights and the specific rights of survivors, human rights violations, concepts and words that are being used, rehabilitation and healingself-care through grounding exercises, examples from different countries, the Butterfly Woman story as well as a collection of organizations and web pages that may be useful for further support.


Meet a new friend of ours
Global Network of Psychologists for
Human Rights (GNPHR),

The GNPHR provides an independent global platform for psychologists concerned about human rights, by

  • providing a global platform to promoting knowledge and discussion about the intersection of human rights and psychology among psychologists and psychology students; in their research, practice, application, and consultation;
  • providing a bridge between the global community of psychologists and international human rights initiatives, practices and knowledge;
  • supporting psychologists confronted with human rights violations;
  • advocating for the improvement of human rights application, and for the support of victims of violations;
  • highlighting human rights activities, scholarship, and achievements of psychologists from all parts of the world.

All manuals can be downloaded from the MHHRI website

There are three different manuals, which respectively address working with women, with boys and men, and with children who have experienced sexual violence.

The manuals are translated into several languages. The page numbers in each manual remain the same across languages. This allows survivors and helpers to work from copies in their preferred language and read the same content on the same pages. It also makes it easier to teach participants when participants and trainers work in more than one language. The manuals include a toolbox. Survivors can use it individually to regulate their own emotions through grounding exercises or in collaboration with a helper. Helpers can also use grounding exercises to take care of themselves as helpers.

Upcoming Events

IRCT symposium in Georgia – postponed
2021 IRCT Scientific Symposium & General Assembly
Overcoming the Extreme: Life after Torture
2021 in Tbilisi, Georgia (more information will follow)

17th biennial conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Trauma and resilience through the ages: A life course perspective.
01- 04 June 2022
Northern Ireland.

4th European Conference on Domestic Violence
September 13th – 15th 2021 | online from Slovenia

22nd Nordic Conference For Professionals
Working With Traumatised Refugees
Rescheduled 9-10.12.2021 | Helsinki, Finland

The 11th International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR) Conference
All being well, the International Society for Health and Human Rights looks forward to welcoming you to the 11th ISHHR conference and program of capacity building in Medellin, Colombia February 2021 (tentative dates).
The ISHHR Conference and Capacity-Building Workshops will focus on themes relevant in a Colombian context, for both local and international participants, in cooperation with Región and Reconectando.

  • Strengthening Women’s Rights to Mental Health and Freedom from Violence – by changing behaviour, practices and attitudes and facilitating safe and adequate care.
  • Supporting Human Rights Defenders who risk their lives in difficult and dangerous situations, side by side with families of victims of enforced disappearance and internally displaced (IDPs).
  • Treatment methods after traumatic human rights abuse. Remembering the body, promoting resilience; arts and culture, traditional and indigenous approaches.
  • Post-conflict reconciliation, reconstruction and re-socialisation Community mental health, justice human ecology, ethnic approaches to social action, empowerment and reconciliation.

We appreciate feedback and comments The Mental Health and Human Rights Info Newsletter is a newsletter with the aim to provide insight on a certain subject across the scope of our work; human rights violations in war and conflict areas and mental health. Our intention is to deliver a newsletter as a short “lecture” where you can find relevant information regarding a specific subject with a mental health perspective.We would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on other issues you would like to see in this newsletter or if you are planning an event on related issues, please let us know so we can include your event in our newsletter.If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this e-newsletter, please forward it, and encourage them to sign up.

On our MHHRI Facebook page, we are continuously posting new and relevant articles that we add to our web site, as well as events and videos.

Take care – and wishing you all the best.

Sincerely yours,
the MHHRI team
Elin Doeland, Elisabeth Langdal, Sara Skilbred Fjeld, Mónica Orjuela,
Mental Health and Human Rights Info