Event Information

BBI Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Brandon Kohrt
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
1140 Biology-Psychology Building
For More Information:
Bijan Dabell

Speaker: Dr. Brandon Kohrt, Duke Global Health Institute

"Mental Health Care Responses during Humanitarian Emergencies: Lessons learned working with child soldiers and earthquake survivors"

See more about Dr. Kohrt:

Abstract: Two large 7.8 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes and more than 500 aftershocks greater than 4.0 magnitude struck Nepal in 2015 resulting in 8,600 deaths, displacement of 450,000 people, and 8.5 million people deprived of access to shelter, food, healthcare, and education. The international community donated millions of dollars to health efforts, with a substantial investment in mental health services. However, prior international mental health responses to humanitarian emergencies have been criticized widely, for short-term services, lack of sustainable mental healthcare, an exclusive focus on trauma to the neglect of other mental health and psychosocial needs, stigmatizing survivors of disasters, and undermining existing recovery and support structures. Therefore, to minimize risk of these unintended consequences, governmental and non-governmental organizations strove for collaborative, sustainable efforts building upon a decade of mental health systems strengthening in the context of a history of humanitarian emergencies. Lessons learned from a decade of working with child soldiers in Nepal were applied to the earthquake response. Approaches to diagnosis and psychological treatment ranging from WHO programs to school counseling integrated Nepali cultural frameworks to promote effectiveness and reduce stigma. Transculturally adapted instruments revealed that earthquake-related PTSD rates were low (5.2%) whereas chronic mental health problems related to depression, anxiety, and alcohol use problems affected 1 out of 5 adults.  This work demonstrates the opportunities and challenges to develop long-term mental health services following humanitarian emergencies.

This Event is For: Public

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