Key considerations including recommendations to strengthen the mental health and psychosocial response.
More than half a million Rohingya refugees, 60% of them children (UNICEF 2017), have crossed the border into Bangladesh, joining refugee camps or settling informally, and are in dire need of basic services such as food, health care, and protection. To support their humanitarian intervention in the fields of health, nutrition, wellbeing and protection, UNICEF requested this rapid evidence review.
In the last thirty years, humanitarian programmes have increasingly sought to preserve not only physical life and health, but also to address psychological needs and promote social well-being. This growing prioritisation of psychological issues in humanitarian settings can be seen in the development of new types of assistance efforts, described by the umbrella term “mental health and psychosocial” (MHPSS). However, mental health and psychosocial programmes have been widely criticised, and the MHPSS field marked by intense debate.In this paper, the author defines international therapeutic governance and describes research by Vanessa Pupava onpsychosocial programming as being homogenising, pathologising, controlling and depoliticising. Assimilating and synthesising Pupavac’s critique, the paper creates a four-fold evaluative framework and then analyses its critical utility.
It goes on to to analyse current practice as represented by the 2007 IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.The author argues that practitioners have made significant progress in moving toward a culturally-appropriate and empowering model of psychosocial programming within humanitarian interventions,
The fact that the Colombian armed conflict has continued for almost five decades there is still very little information on how it affects the mental health of civilians. Although it is well established in post-conflict populations that experience of organised violence has a negative impact on mental health, little research has been done on those living in active conflict zones. Médecins Sans Frontières provides mental health services in areas of active conflict in Colombia and using data from these services we aimed to establish which characteristics of the conflict are most associated with specific symptoms of mental ill health. An analysis of clinical data from patients (N = 6,353), 16 years and over, from 2010–2011, who consulted in the Colombian departments (equivalent to states) of Nariño, Cauca, Putumayo and Caquetá. Risk factors were grouped using a hierarchical cluster analysis and the clusters were included with demographic information as predictors in logistic regressions to discern which risk factor clusters best predicted specific symptoms.
This paper reviews and summarizes the available literature on Haitian mental health and mental health services. This review was conducted in light of the Haitian earthquake in January 2010. We searched Medline, Google Scholar and other available databases to gather scholarly literature relevant to mental health in Haiti. This was supplemented by consultation of key books and grey literature relevant to Haiti. The first part of the review describes historical, economic, sociological and anthropological factors essential to a basic understanding of Haiti and its people.
This includes discussion of demography, family structure, Haitian economics and religion. The second part of the review focuses on mental health and mental health services. This includes a review of factors such as basic epidemiology of mental illness, common beliefs about mental illness, explanatory models, idioms of distress,help-seeking behavior, configuration of mental health services and the relationship between religion and mental health.
This document provides an approach and a toolkit to help those designing and conducting an assessment of mental health and psychosocial needs and resources in major humanitarian crises. These could include major natural and human-made disasters and complex emergencies (for example armed conflicts). In general, assessments are aimed at:
providing a broad understanding of the humanitarian situation;
analysing people’s problems and their ability to deal with them; and
analysing resources to decide, in consultation with stakeholders, the nature of any response required.
Assessments are also helpful to start engagement with stakeholders, including governments, community stakeholders and national and international agencies. There is no ‘one assessment that fits all’. This document is not a cookbook. Rather, it provides a toolkit and an approach to selecting the right tools. You should select a few tools and adapt them within each assessment project and specific situation,