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Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) staff in humanitarian settings have limited access to clinical supervision and are at high risk of experiencing burnout. We previously piloted an online, peer-supervision program for MHPSS professionals working with displaced Rohingya (Bangladesh) and Syrian (Turkey and Northwest Syria) communities. Pilot evaluations demonstrated that online, peer-supervision is feasible, low-cost, and acceptable to MHPSS practitioners in humanitarian settings.
This project will determine the impact of online supervision on i) the wellbeing and burnout levels of local MHPSS practitioners, and ii) practitioner technical skills to improve beneficiary perceived service satisfaction, acceptability, and appropriateness.
MHPSS practitioners in two contexts (Bangladesh and Turkey/Northwest Syria) will participate in 90-minute group-based online supervision, fortnightly for six months. Sessions will be run on zoom and will be co-facilitated by MHPSS practitioners and in-country research assistants. A quasi-experimental multiple-baseline design will enable a quantitative comparison of practitioner and beneficiary outcomes between control periods (12-months) and the intervention. Outcomes to be assessed include the Kessler-6, Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and Copenhagen Burnout Inventory and Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8.
A total of 80 MHPSS practitioners will complete 24 monthly online assessments from May 2022. Concurrently, 1920 people receiving MHPSS services will be randomly selected for post-session interviews (24 per practitioner).
This study will determine the impact of an online, peer-supervision program for MHPSS practitioners in humanitarian settings. Results from the baseline assessments, pilot evaluation, and theory of change model will be presented.
Despite the magnitude and protracted nature of the Rohingya refugee situation, there is limited information on the culture, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of this group. This paper, drawing on a report commissioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aims to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the literature on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees, including an examination of associated cultural factors. The ultimate objective is to assist humanitarian actors and agencies in providing culturally relevant Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for Rohingya refugees displaced to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.
We conducted a systematic search across multiple sources of information with reference to the contextual, social, economic, cultural, mental health and health-related factors amongst Rohingya refugees living in the Asia-Pacific and other regions. The search covered online databases of diverse disciplines (e.g. medicine, psychology, anthropology), grey literature, as well as unpublished reports from non-profit organisations and United Nations agencies published until 2018.
The legacy of prolonged exposure to conflict and persecution compounded by protracted conditions of deprivations and displacement is likely to increase the refugees' vulnerability to wide array of mental health problems including posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. High rates of sexual and gender-based violence, lack of privacy and safe spaces and limited access to integrated psychosocial and mental health support remain issues of concern within the emergency operation in Bangladesh. Another challenge is the limited understanding amongst the MHPSS personnel in Bangladesh and elsewhere of the language, culture and help-seeking behaviour of Rohingya refugees. While the Rohingya language has a considerable vocabulary for emotional and behavioural problems, there is limited correspondence between these Rohingya terms and western concepts of mental disorders. This hampers the provision of culturally sensitive and contextually relevant MHPSS services to these refugees.
The knowledge about the culture, context, migration history, idioms of distress, help-seeking behaviour and traditional healing methods, obtained from diverse sources can be applied in the design and delivery of culturally appropriate interventions. Attention to past exposure to traumatic events and losses need to be paired with attention for ongoing stressors and issues related to worries about the future. It is important to design MHPSS interventions in ways that mobilise the individual and collective strengths of Rohingya refugees and build on their resilience.
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