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Why Global Health Matters

PAU researchers co-authored two chapters in the newly published Why Global Health Matters: How to (Actually) Make the World a Better Place edited by Chris S. Stout. This publication is intended as a resource for academics, policy makers and humanitarian workers. It addresses a wide range of global health issues, including mental health, in multiple regions of the world from many different perspectives.

Downloadable chapters, linked below, are provided courtesy of Chris Stout.

Lori Holleran, Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology,  Maryke Van Zyl, also a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology, and Bruce Bongar, Ph.D., ABPP, FAPM, Calvin Professor of Psychology at PAU, co-authored the first chapter, Global Mental Health: Examining Trends Globally and Among Developing Regions.

In their chapter, they “seek to quantify and analyze the burden of mental health disorders, consider the treatment gaps regarding mental health concerns, and highlight how the global community has attempted to address inadequacies related to mental illness and the challenges that still remain.” These issues are considered largely within the context of low- and middle-income countries, which account for approximately 85 percent of the world’s population.

Tristan Hansell, a Ph.D. candidate at PAU and student affiliate of PAU’s Risk and Resilience Research Lab, and Lisa M. Brown, Ph.D., ABPP, a tenured PAU professor and director of the Risk and Resilience Research Lab at PAU co-authored Chapter 18, The Role of Mental Health in Peacebuilding Interventions: A 3B’s Analysis Approach, along with Robert Groelsema, the Africa Justice and Peacebuilding Working group team leader for Catholic Relief Services.

Their chapter argues that “when trauma interventions are informed by culture and context, we are able to come to a deeper understanding of factors that foster resilience in communities and contribute to more effective ways of healing and peacebuilding. Several studies have emerged indicating that using Western approaches to treat mental illness in non- Western cultures could, in some instances, result in detrimental effects such as increasing traumatic stress or complicating the recovery process. The understandably high estimates of mental health disorders in post-conflict and conflict societies make analyzing the role of mental health within peacebuilding interventions imperative. Interventions that address mental health from culturally sensitive, psychosocial perspectives not only contribute to the well-being of individuals and societies, but also have the potential to strengthen peacebuilding initiatives and reduce conflict recidivism.

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