This report aims to raise awareness about the role that the reform of public health laws can play in advancing the right to health and in creating the conditions for people to live healthy lives. By encouraging a better understanding of how public health law can be used to improve the health of the population, the report aims to encourage and assist governments to reform their public health laws in order to advance the right to health.
The report highlights important issues that may arise during the process of public health law reform. It provides guidance about issues and requirements to be addressed during the process of developing public health laws. It also includes case studies and examples of legislation from a variety of countries to illustrate effective law reform practices and some features of effective public health legislation.
United Nations, 2020
Although the COVID-19 crisis is, in the first instance, a physical health crisis, it has the seeds of a major mental health crisis as well, if action is not taken. Good mental health is critical to the functioning of society at the best of times. It must be front and centre of every country’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently.
Psychological distress in populations is widespread. Many people are distressed due to the immediate health impacts of the virus and the consequences of physical isolation. Many are afraid of infection, dying, and losing family members. Individuals have been physically distanced from loved ones and peers. Millions of people are facing economic turmoil having lost or being at risk of losing their income and livelihoods. Frequent misinformation and rumours about the virus and deep uncertainty about the future are common sources of distress. A long-term upsurge in the number and severity of mental health problems is likely.
Physicians for Human Rights, 2020/April 2
With Dr. Gail Saltz and Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz
In the third installment of PHR’s ongoing webinar series, “Science-driven Solutions for Combating COVID-19,” psychiatrists and PHR board members Drs. Gail Saltz and Kerry Sulkowicz hold a discussion on the mental health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This discussion focuses on tips for self-care as we adapt to the new norms of physical distancing, working from home, and as some of us face anxieties related to the uncertainty of the pandemic.
To watch the webinar please click on the link below:
India Leaders for Social Sector, ILSS, 2020
Webinars on the COVID-19 pandemic, public health including mental health, justice and human rights in India with experts. A number of the webinars were video recorded and can be watched and listened to from their website.
You can also get an overview of upcoming webinars on a range of topics here.
IASC, Global Protection Cluster
A STEP-BY-STEP POCKET GUIDE FOR HUMANITARIAN PRACTITIONERS
The Pocket Guide and its supporting materials provide all humanitarian practitioners with information on:
- How to support a survivor of gender-based violence (GBV)
- Who discloses their experience of GBV with you
- In a context where there is no GBV actor (including a GBV referral pathway or a GBV focal point) available.
COVID-19 Operational Guidance Note: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) within Health Programs
International Rescue Committee, 2020
This guidance summarizes the key actions for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)
within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate that pre-existing mental health
conditions will be exacerbated, and that new mental health problems will be induced by the COVID19 pandemic. This will occur in countries where IRC has ongoing MHPSS programming, and also in countries where IRC programs does not have dedicated mental health services and supports. We have outlined how to support continuity of existing MHPSS service and anticipate how to adapt programs based on the increased demand for MHPSS. All MHPSS plans should be coordinated with other sectors and other partners implementing MHPSS activities.
This guidance note is for MHPSS linked to the health system. There will be separate – but
complementary – guidance notes for MHPSS interventions that are implemented through VPRU,
Education and ERD programs.
Turid Heiberg, Save the Children International, 2005
Global Submission by the International Save the Children Alliance UN Study on Violence against Children
The present study evaluates Save the Children’s experiences with work against child sexual abuse and exploitation around the world. We focus on the essence of our programme experiences, our insights and the ‘main jewels’ of our learning in the form of 10 essential learning points. We have investigated if and how our work has been in the best interest of children and whether it contributed to their development. How do we perceive the challenges and strategies that have been successful? The examination led to the formulation of the learning points, which may serve as a guide for establishing good practice and policies.
Thirteen country programmes within Save the Children – Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Syria, Nepal, Bangladesh, Romania and Spain – have been involved in the present examination, drawing on their own and partners’ experiences as well as the experiences of governments and civil society in general in combating child sexual abuse within a number of cultural, socio-economic, political and religious contexts. Good practice from other Save the Children members, academic and other sources has also been included. We have emphasised that the learning reflects what boys and girls of different ages themselves feel, think, reflect and experience around sexual abuse.Turid
Justice child sexual abuse education gender based violence mental health post-traumatic stress disorder protection sexual violence Bangladesh Brazil Canada Colombia Global Mozambique Nepal Nicaragua Romania Rwanda South Africa Spain Syria Uganda
Save the Children, in collaboration with researchers from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2019
The protection of children in conflict – and with it the realisation of the promises made in the declarations, conventions and statutes of the 20th century – is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. The nature of conflict – and its impact on children – is evolving.
In today’s armed conflicts, there is often no longer a clearly demarcated battlefield: children’s homes and schools are the battlefield.
Increasingly, the brunt of armed violence and warfare is being borne by children. Children suffer in conflict in different ways to adults, partly because they are physically weaker and also because they have so much at stake – their physical, mental and psychosocial development are heavily dependent on the conditions they experience as children. Conflict affects children differently depending on a number of personal characteristics – significantly gender and age, but also disability status, ethnicity, religion and whether they live in rural or urban locations. The harm that is done to children in armed conflict is not only often more severe than that done to adults, it has longer lasting implications – for children themselves and for their societies
armed conflict child soldiers children grave violations against children human rights impunity internally displaced persons mental health sexual violence Afghanistan Central African Republic Democratic Republic of Congo Global Iraq Mali Nigeria Somalia South Sudan Syria Yemen
World Health Organization (WHO), 2012
This WHO report shares detailed accounts from 10 diverse emergency-affected areas, each of which built better-quality and more sustainable mental health systems despite challenging circumstances. Cases originate from countries small to large; low to middle-income; across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East; and affected by large-scale natural disasters, prolonged conflict, and large-scale influxes of refugees. While their contexts varied considerably, all were able to convert short-term interest in population mental health into sustainable, long-term improvements.
This WHO report goes beyond aspirational recommendations by providing detailed descriptions of how mental health reform was accomplished in these situations. Importantly, case contributors report not only their major achievements, but also their most difficult challenges and how they were overcome. Key overlapping practices emerging from these experiences are also summarized.
This report provides the proof of concept that it is possible to build back better, no matter how weak the existing mental health system or how challenging the emergency situation. I call upon all readers to take steps to ensure that those faced with future emergencies do not miss the important opportunity for mental health reform and development.
– Dr Margaret Chan, former Director-General WHO
Executive summary available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish here.
The Lancet Global Health, 2020
The Lancet Global Health‘s Nina Putnis speaks to Wietse Tol about his research on reducing psychological distress in female South Sudanese refugees, and the implications of this research for refugees and displaced people worldwide. Listen to the podcast below: