Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience programme: experiential education towards resilience and trauma informed people and practice

Abstract: War, genocide, gender based violence, structural oppression and other forms of chronic violence and social upheaval can reveal and cultivate tremendous strength and resilience. They can also gravely harm people in body, mind and spirit, both individually and collectively. These harms can lead people to act in on self and act out against others, entrapping us in cycles of violence. Many strategies can assist in breaking free from cycles of violence and building resilience.

Bridging the gap in mental health and psychosocial services in low resource settings: a case study in Sudan

Abstract: Sudan has endured the longest civil war in Africa, with ongoing conflict since 1983. As a result, it has one of the largest internally displaced populations on the continent. The gap in care for mental health in Sudan is large, therefore, most of the people affected do not have access to the treatment they need (World Helath Organization, 2009).

Training counsellors in low and middle income countries in single session counselling: helping mental health and psychosocial workers to get on top of feelings of powerlessness

Abstract: This article describes an approach to training mental health and psychosocial support workers in post disaster areas and areas of armed conflict in single session counselling, also known as Single Session Therapy. This field report also adds further information to earlier publications on the reasons for practicing Single Session Therapy.

Integrated psychosocial and food security approach in an emergency context: Central African Republic

Abstract: In the Central African Republic, a political crisis started in 2013 that greatly affected the population. They were exposed to traumatogenic factors causing the emergence of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in large segments of the population. The situation of high food insecurity, combined with high levels of psychological distress, have significantly limited the population's coping strategies.

In spite of the clarity of mental health and psychosocial core principles: the existence of a participation implementation gap

Abstract: According to humanitarian minimal standards, humanitarian programmes should maximise participation of affected populations within their response. Participation has been a key point in proposals, evaluators are aware of it and every aid worker has heard of it. In theory, it is a perfectly implemented, well understood and a well respected construct. In the field of mental health and psychosocial support, participation is core principle number two.

Ghosts in the big city: surviving and adapting to internal displacement in Colombia, South America

Abstract: The signing of the truce on 23 June 2016 and the finalisation of peace negotiations on 24 August 2016 marked the end of more than 50 years of continuous armed conflict in Colombia, South America and the transition to ‘post conflict’ status.

‘The problem is the silence’: challenges providing support to local INGO staff in Gaza

​This field report reviews some of the challenges encountered in providing support to local international, nongovernmental organisations staff in Gaza, shortly following the cessation of conflict in July and August of 2014. Methodology and the content of group sessions are described. The paper concludes with highlights from the evaluation, reflections on what was learned, and some recommendations on the provision of further staff support in the future.

Training workshops for psychosocial workers and mental health staff: what organisers of capacity building projects need to know before hiring a trainer

When invited to facilitate a training course for psychosocial workers and/or mental health staff, I am sometimes confronted with unrealistic expectations: the person commissioning a training expects a detailed programme that describes exactly what subject matter will be covered, and precisely when. In other cases, I am requested to design a programme that connects to an earlier training, facilitated by another expert in the mental health and psychosocial support field.

Developing culturally relevant psychosocial training for Afghan teachers

Afghanistan has been in a constant state of war for over 30 years, with no end in sight. Few Afghans today remember life before the war. This has implications for programmes designed to reduce war trauma and rebuild community connections, in order to foster peace and reconciliation. This paper describes efforts, rooted in local culture, to impact community mental health through promoting positive coping strategies for the prevention of, and care for, psychosocial problems.