Call for Papers: Displacement and Mental Health

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Call for Papers: Displacement and Mental Health

Guest Editors: 

Rabih El Chammay, MD, Psychiatry Department, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon; Director of the National Mental Health Programme, Ministry of Public Health, Lebanon

Lena Verdeli, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of Clinical Training, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA

In the past 5 years, war, persecution and natural disasters have been forcing scores of people to flee from their homes. The numbers of Internally Displaced and refugee populations (65.3 million according to the latest UNHCR count) have now surpassed those during WWII, and are equivalent to the combined populations of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Some critical milestones for mental health care in humanitarian settings have been reached  in the last decade, such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidelines, Psychological First Aid programs, and the WHO mhGAP-HIG (Humanitarian  Intervention Guide), which includes  selected  manuals of evidence-based psychotherapies for common mental disorders implemented by non-mental health specialists and disseminated electronically by the WHO. 

Despite these advances, research to inform effective dissemination and implementation of mental health evidence-based interventions for the prevention (universal or targeted), treatment, or rehabilitation/maintenance of common and severe mental disorders has severely lagged behind. There is a particularly large gap in knowledge on effective, sustainable and culturally relevant dissemination and implementation of these interventions in the health system of communities affected by displacement (in both low/middle income as well as high income regions). Research to address this knowledge gap needs to specify how interventions can be used for the displaced as well as the burdened host populations; for which stage of the migration process (pre-migration, in transit, and post-migration) the intervention is indicated, taking into consideration timelines of normative adjustment trajectories (e.g., how long it takes for persons to adjust to the settlement, etc); and the cultural and logistical fit of the content and delivery of the implemented intervention.

Global Mental Health wishes to contribute to bridging this knowledge gap by inviting papers under the following themes across the life-span (list not exhaustive):

  • Feasibility, efficacy, and effectiveness studies of various aspects of implementation/dissemination models of interventions (process and evaluation models, determinant frameworks, etc)
  • Methods of cultural adaptation and feasible delivery (in community, primary care, etc) of sustainable interventions
  • Assessment of scalability, acceleration and barriers of mental health interventions implementation/dissemination (within primary care or other service routes); cost-effectiveness and cost-savings
  • Innovative routes for service delivery of evidence-based psychosocial, clinical, and pharmacological interventions
  • Mental health service organization in complex emergency settings
  • Engagement of and partnerships with medical services and agencies outside the health sector (e.g., education, work, social care, criminal justice)
  • The role of crisis in reforming mental health systems
  • Mediators and moderators of intervention outcomes for displaced populations that inform implementation

We are interested in original investigations with diverse populations across socio-cultural contexts and stages of the life course. We are particularly interested in papers that provide empirical data that can guide scaling up of implementation efforts. Papers can be submitted on a rolling basis until 24th June 2017. For a description of article types and how to submit please refer to information for contributors.

Global Mental Health is an Open Access publication 

Note that for all papers submitted to the special issue on Displacement and Mental Health where an intention to submit has been confirmed by 24th June 2017 the article processing charges (APC) will be waived, should the article go on to be accepted. For all other articles, normal APCs of £1,045/$1,675 will apply to all accepted papers, with a continuing waiver scheme for eligible countries.

Submit your paper here.