Title: Conflict and mental health: the experiences of people living with mental illness and disability amidst ongoing conflict

Authors: Jacquleen Joseph; Asha Banu Soletti; Kautillya Basumatary

Addresses: Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, 400088, India ' Centre for Health and Mental Health, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, 400088, India ' Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellow Scheme, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, 400088, India

Abstract: Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) house a majority of the displaced exposed to conflicts and the mental health consequences for these communities are well documented. Although there is an increasing recognition for mental health and psychosocial support (MH&PSS) interventions in LMIC, the efficacy of these interventions is often debated. Several approaches have emerged in response to these debates, but have limited influence on practice. Thus, several key issues such as the neglect of people with mental illness (PWMI) continue to persist. The paper revisits the approach to MH&PSS in LMIC by drawing from the lived experiences of PWMI living amidst ongoing conflict in Assam. The paper highlights the gaps in the current understanding that informs programming, and the need to reconsider the traumatic stress-based approaches to MH&PSS that do not address the mental health needs of large population groups and the most vulnerable like PWMI.

Keywords: disaster; ongoing conflict; mental health; psychosocial interventions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2017.10005416

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2017 Vol.13 No.3, pp.235 - 251

Received: 15 Feb 2015
Accepted: 09 Jan 2016

Published online: 01 Jun 2017 *

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