Mental health disorders rife in post-conflict areas

April 01, 2019

A new study has found that 58% of people displaced following the civil war in Sri Lanka have suffered mental health problems.

Researchers conducted interviews with around 1,000 displaced adults at 25 hospitals across Northern Sri Lanka. They screened for a range of mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Around 83% reported they had not seen a mental health specialist in the previous three months, despite 58% reporting having mental health disorders.

The study also found unemployment and low education levels were factors that contributed to poor mental health, while women were also found to be more likely than men to suffer disorders.

The Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009) was an armed conflict between the Tamal Tigers and the Sri Lankan government as the Tamal Tigers attempted to create an independent state in the north and the east of the island. Approximately 80-100,000 were killed and 500,000 were displaced.

The project was the first to review mental health issues after the war, and found that there are significant unmet mental health needs in the region.

Dr Shannon Doherty, Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and lead researcher in this project, said: "In the aftermath of conflict, physical injuries can be prioritised over serious mental health issues. We found that a worrying number of people in Sri Lanka have suffered with disorders and had not had access to appropriate treatment.

"In the second phase of our project, we aim to provide new approaches to offer mental health support to the victims of the civil war. We hope that it will help to resolve the crisis in Sri Lanka, and be applicable in future to other areas of conflict."

The paper was published in the journal BMC Psychiatry.
-end-


Anglia Ruskin University

Related Conflict Articles from Brightsurf:

Aboriginal rock art, frontier conflict and a swastika
A hidden Murray River rockshelter speaks volumes about local Aboriginal and European settlement in the Riverland, with symbols of conflict -- including a swastika symbol -- discovered in Aboriginal rock art.

Study of civilians with conflict-related wounds helps improve the care in conflict zones
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have carried out the first randomized trial of civilians with acute conflict-related wounds at two hospitals in areas affected by armed conflict.

Researchers study the intricate link between climate and conflict
New research from the University of Notre Dame is shedding light on the unexpected effects climate change could have on regional instability and violent conflict.

Achieving optimal collaboration when goals conflict
New research suggests that, when two people must work together on a physical task despite conflicting goals, the amount of information available about each other's actions influences how quickly and optimally they learn to collaborate.

Do we trust artificial intelligence agents to mediate conflict? Not entirely
We may listen to facts from Siri or Alexa, or directions from Google Maps or Waze, but would we let a virtual agent enabled by artificial intelligence help mediate conflict among team members?

Tension around autonomy increases family conflict at end of life
Conflict within families can be stressful and confusing, and it can lead to feelings of sadness.

Coca and conflict: the factors fuelling Colombian deforestation
Deforestation in Colombia has been linked to armed conflict and forests' proximity to coca crops, the plant from which cocaine is derived.

Global burden of mental health in conflict settings
People living in countries that have experienced armed conflict are five times more likely to develop anxiety or depression, a University of Queensland research collaboration has found.

Climate change increases potential for conflict and violence
Images of extensive flooding or fire-ravaged communities help us see how climate change is accelerating the severity of natural disasters.

AI systems shed light on root cause of religious conflict
Artificial intelligence can help us to better understand the causes of religious violence and to potentially control it, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.

Read More: Conflict News and Conflict Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.