Mental health conditions in conflict situations are much more widespread than we thought: But there’s a lot we can do to support people
Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO, 2019
“Today, there is no shortage of countries in conflict. UN estimates suggest that in 2019, nearly 132 million people in 42 countries around the world will need humanitarian assistance resulting from conflict or disaster. Nearly 69 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by violence and conflict, the highest number since World War II.
Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to help them. Indeed, there’s a lot we are doing.
In 2019 WHO is addressing mental health in countries and territories with populations affected by large-scale emergencies across the world, in Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, among others.
In many countries in the world, ignorance about mental health and mental illness remains widespread. The uptake of mental health care during conflict and other emergencies, in countries where such support has been limited, can lead to the identification of people who are tied up, locked in cages, hidden from society. In many cases, it is this very support that helps dispel myths about mental illness and leads to treatment and care and a path towards a more dignified life.
We have also learned that, when the political will exists, emergencies can be catalysts for building quality mental health services”, Dr Mark van Ommeren, WHO
New WHO prevalence estimates of mental disorders in conflict settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Fiona Charlson, Mark van Ommeren, Abraham Flaxman, Joseph Cornett, Harvey Whiteford, Shekhar Saxena, The Lancet, 2019
Background: Existing WHO estimates of the prevalence of mental disorders in emergency settings are more than a decade old and do not reflect modern methods to gather existing data and derive estimates. We sought to update WHO estimates for the prevalence of mental disorders in conflict-affected settings and calculate the burden per 1000 population.
The burden of mental disorders is high in conflict-affected populations. Given the large numbers of people in need and the humanitarian imperative to reduce suffering, there is an urgent need to implement scalable mental health interventions to address this burden.
Health and Human Rights Info, 2019
What makes this training different from others? This is the first Nigerian pidgin English seminar on Sexual Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The seminar focuses on improving skills in providing psychological support for GBV, especially sexual trauma survivors.
Who can attend?
• Helpers supporting survivors of GBV and sexual trauma in times of disasters, conflicts and emergency situations, and in places where access to health professionals, psychologist or psychiatrist expertise is limited.
• Helpers training other helpers/groups of helpers who need self-study materials
Who produced the seminar materials?
• A team of mental health experts from with many years of clinical, field and research experiences developed effective tools to empower helpers of GBV survivors
This flyer gives you information about the content of the GBV manual that the training is based on.
Maybe we confuse compassion with empathy. We are perhaps compassionate but it is hard for us to be empathic? This excellent animated film helps us to differentiate them. The power of empathy is an animated film that explains the difference between empathy and compassion. We are not always able to connect with other people’s emotions when they show and communicate their emotions, especially negative ones. Showing compassion causes people to distance themselves because they feel we don’t understand. However, when empathy take place, it connects with people. They feel heard and understood in their pain. Click here to see the animation
Kerstin Söderström, Polli Hagenaars, Tony Wainwright, and Ulrich Wagner, 2019
“Human Rights are of crucial importance to everyone in the world, psychologists included”. With this statement the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA, 2013) called for psychologists and their associations to engage in protection and promotion of human rights. EFPA aims to connect psychology with Human Rights in a way that psychology becomes more useful to the Human Rights agenda and Human Rights become an indispensable dimension of psychology.
Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors – STARTTS, non-profit organisation that provided culturally relevant psychological treatment and support, and community interventions, to help people and communities heal the scars of torture and refugee trauma and rebuild their lives in Australia, is offering a series of online workshops on different topics such as: Self-Care in Working with Torture and Trauma Survivors: Professional Boundaries, Transference and Countertransference, Challenges of Working Clinically with Domestic Violence when the Perpetrator is also a Torture and Refugee Trauma Survivor, The Challenge of Working Clinically with Children Severely Traumatised by the Experience of Offshore Detention on Nauru. To attend you should only make a registration depending on each workshop. For more information here click on the link below:
Elin Doeland, 2019
In the work of making resources on mental health more easily available to professionals and others working with people exposed to human rights violations in disaster, war and conflict, Health and Human Rights Info (HHRI) has received contributions and support from a large group of people. Since its beginning in the early 2000s, psychologists and psychiatrists and other professionals working in different contexts around the world have been involved in ensuring that the material in the database may be of use in the field and has a good ethical and professional standard.
International Rehabilitation Council For Torture Victims, 2019
Torture Journal examines the impact of forensic documentation of torture in diverse settings around the world and identifies innovative rehabilitation approaches. Fresh research and perspectives on sport-based rehabilitation, as well as other key topics, also comprise the issue.
Van Schaack B, Reicherter D, Chhang Y, 2011
This text explores the profound impact of war and genocide on human psychology with a focus on Cambodia and the work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Interdisciplinary in nature, this edited volume presents the current research on the impact of trauma not only on survivors’ mental health processes but also on the ability of survivors to participate in legal processes, such as the trials of surviving members of the Khmer Rouge before the ECCC.
Caring for Child Survivors of Sexual Abuse – Guidelines for health and psychosocial service providers in humanitarian settings
International Rescue Committee and UNICEF, 2012
The guideline is based on global research on child sexual abuse and evidence from field practice. The CCS Resource Package brings a much needed comprehensive and practical approach to helping child survivors and their families
recover and heal from the impacts of sexual abuse.