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

Burgess, RA; Fonseca-Duran, L; (2019) Re-thinking recovery in post-conflict settings: Supporting the mental well-being of communities in Colombia. Global Public Health 10.1080/17441692.2019.1663547. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

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

Type: Article
Title: Re-thinking recovery in post-conflict settings: Supporting the mental well-being of communities in Colombia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1663547
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2019.1663547
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Mental Health, Recovery, Post-Conflict, Community Mental Health Competencies, Colombia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080406
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