Re-thinking recovery in post-conflict settings: supporting the mental well-being of communities in Colombia

Burgess, Rochelle Ann and Fonseca, Laura (2019) Re-thinking recovery in post-conflict settings: supporting the mental well-being of communities in Colombia. Global Public Health, 15 (2). pp. 200-219. ISSN 1744-1706

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Abstract / Description

Addressing mental health needs is a central focus of the Colombian Government's framework for socio-political reconstruction following over 60 years of conflict. Informed by WHO standards, country efforts utilise biopsychosocial models that prioritise individual psychological and psychiatric conditions. However, increasing scrutiny of the deployment of Western approaches to mental health and recovery in the global south suggests a need to explore the best route to improving mental health outcomes. Our research contributes to these debates through a qualitative study of local understandings of mental health recovery related concepts among internally displaced persons in Colombia. Analysis of focus groups with 40 internally displaced men and women established definitions for emotional distress and recovery as parallel processes linked to the fracture and rebuilding of social worlds and family life. Definitions were shaped heavily by cultural, political, economic and legal contexts of everyday survival, often linked to experiences of structural and symbolic forms of violence. We conclude that a locally informed mental health recovery model that stretches beyond individual experiences of mental ill-health to promote ideas of collective social change would be best suited to addressing mental health needs of internally displaced groups in Colombia. Implications for practice are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router
Uncontrolled Keywords: Colombia, mental health, community mental health competencies, post-conflict, recovery
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Professions (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 11:32
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2020 16:30

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