THE ISSUE OF MENTAL HEALTH
The value of mental health in humanitarian settings is still underestimated. When War Trauma broaches the subject with our humanitarian partners we often find mental health comes as an afterthought. Even aft er twenty years, our task remains to convince aid workers and donors of the value of investing in a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Every person has the right to mental health and social well-being. We strengthen mental health care and psychosocial support for people and communities affected by humanitarian crises and in under-resourced settings through research, capacity building and evidence based advocacy.
Over 2.2 million people have fled the violence of Boko Haram in North East Nigeria. Suicide bombings and armed violence are regular occurrences. Psychiatrist Marjolein van Duijl supported us to train international aid workers who are working with Internally Displaced Persons in the area. Currently Clinical Director at the Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry Veldzicht in the Netherlands she reflects on her experiences.
This brief guidance note seeks to provide advice on protecting and supporting the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Europe. It describes key principles and appropriate interventions to guide all those who are designing and organizing emergency services and/or providing direct assistance to the affected people.
Guía ofrece consejos sobre primeros auxilios psicológicos en catástrofes
Cómo debe ser la asistencia psicosocial que se presta inmediatamente después de un suceso de estrés máximo es una de las preguntas que responde la primera Guía de Ayuda Psicológica para Crisis Humanitarias, publicada por la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), en colaboración con la War Trauma Foundation (WTF) y World Vision International (WVI).
The World Health Organization publication Psychological first aid: Guide for fieldworkers offers advice to first responders on how to provide psychosocial assistance following high-stress events. The guide, launched in 2011, was co-published by WHO with the War Trauma Foundation (WTF) and World Vision International (WVI).
On November 23rd 2011 a special issue of Intervention, 'the International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict' will be published. This issue contains 220 pages and was financially supported by the UNHCR through an unrestricted grant. The theme of this issue is:
'The integration of mental health into existing health systems during and after complex emergencies'