SPECIAL SECTION

Violence with a purpose: exploring the functions and meaning of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In situations of protracted armed conflict such as in sub-Saharan Africa, there exists a strong tendency to describe rebel violence as a senseless war of ‘all-against-all’. This ‘Hobbesian’ violence (a theory that people have the fundamental right to pursue selfish aims but will relinquish those rights in the interest of the common good) is often illustrated by the sight of drugged and gun-toting youths engaged in the harassment of innocent civilians.

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Psychosocial assistance and decentralised mental health care in post conflict Burundi 2000 – 2008

In 2000 the nongovernmental organisation (NGO) HealthNet TPO started mental health and psychosocial support services in Burundi, a country that has been severely affectedby civil war. Within a time frame of eight years, a wide range of mental health and psychosocial services were established, covering large parts of the country.

Iraq and mental health policy: a post invasion analysis

The Iraq war, and the subsequent involvement of various stakeholders in the post conflict reconstruction of the health sector, presented an opportunity to learn about mental health policy development, challenges and obstacles within a post conflict context in 2003. This paper documents and explores mental health policy in post invasion Iraq, using qualitative methods and a health policy framework that analyses context, content and process.

Daily stressors in the lives of Sri Lankan youth: a mixed methods approach to assessment in a context of war and natural disaster

This paper describes the use of a mixed methods design to develop the Sri Lankan Children's Daily Stressor Scale (CDSS). It briefly describes its use in a study assessing the relative contribution of daily stressors on the one hand, and war and disaster exposure on the other, to young people's mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.

Distress, wellbeing and war: qualitative analyses of civilian interviews from north eastern Sri Lanka

This paper outlines a methodology for the development of culturally sensitive measures of war problems (including psychological and behavioural problems) and wellbeing for use among refugees affected by the recently concluded civil war in Sri Lanka. These measures were derived from qualitative data collected from individuals living in areas affected by the civil war. The authors utilised a qualitative data analysis methodology, involving both open coding and thematic analysis.

Vulnerable social groups in postconflict settings: a mixed methods policy analysis and epidemiology study of caste and psychological morbidity in Nepal

Designing and implementing psychosocial intervention programmes in post conflict settings requires a breadth of knowledge of the context, circumstances, and needs of vulnerable social groups. However, mixed methods research focusing on which groups are vulnerable, and their specific psychosocial needs, is rarely conducted. This study uses historical policy discourse analysis to identify the origins of contemporary social categories related to vulnerability in Nepal, specifically caste.

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Integrating mental health into existing systems of care during and after complex humanitarian emergencies: rethinking the experience

This concluding paper of the Intervention Special Issue on integrating mental health care into health systems during and after complex emergencies summarises the main findings and conclusions of each of the programmes presented. This paper further integrates these findings into a common framework in order to extract key factors and recommendations on actions that can be taken, and those to avoid, to enable humanitarian emergencies to be transformed into opportunities in the psychosocial field.

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