Global Resources


Desplazamiento y Cambios en Salud. Ayacucho, Perú: 1980-2004
José Moya Medina, Lima, Organización Panamericana de la Salud, 2010 (en español)
The book examines a particular form of migration, the displacement of populations as a result of violence and death that occurred in the 80's in Ayacucho, Peru, and the effects it had on health. It summarizes the experiences of work done in the Department of Epidemology of the Ministry of Health in Peru, in the subregion of Ayacucho, and the Pan American Health Organization.

Global Health in Times of Violence
Barbara Rylko-Bauer, Linda Whiteford, and Paul Farmer (Eds.), 2009
What are the prospects for human health in a world threatened by disease and violence? Since World War II, at least 160 wars have erupted around the globe. Over 24 million people have died in these conflicts, and millions more suffered illness and injury. In this volume, leading scholars and practitioners examine the impact of structural, military, and communal violence on health, psychosocial well-being, and health care delivery. By investigating the fields of violence that define our modern world, the authors are able to provide alternative global health paradigms that can be used to develop more effective policies and programs.

The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights
Irene Khan, 2009
Through personal reflection and case-studies, Khan shows why poverty is first and foremost not a problem of economics but of human rights. As the numbers of people living in poverty swell to upwards of 2 billion, she argues that poverty is the world's worst human rights crisis. Slums are growing at an alarming rate condemning a billion people to live in dismal condition and with the constant threat of forced eviction, the commodity boom is pushing oil and mining activities into lawless zones impoverishing hundreds and thousands of people, and more than half a million women are dying every year due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, 99% of these are in the developing world, because of discrimination and denial of essential health care.

General guidelines for conducting humanitarian interventions and field operations

Guidelines for Policy and Services in Mental Health
World Health Organization
A WHO link to resources on mental health and development.

Guidelines for International Training in Mental Health and Psychosocial Interventions for Trauma Exposed Populations in Clinical and Community Settings
Weine, S. et al., 2002
Consensus-based guidelines for training in mental health and psychosocial interventions for trauma-exposed populations in the international arena.

IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings
Guía del IASC sobre Salud Mental y Apoyo Psicosocial en Emergencias Humanitarias y Catástrofes

Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), 2007
Populations affected by emergencies frequently experience enormous suffering. Humanitarian actors are increasingly active to protect and improve people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being during and after emergencies. A significant gap, however, has been the absence of a multi-sectoral, inter-agency framework that enables effective coordination, identifies useful practices, flags potentially harmful practices and clarifies how different approaches to mental health and psychosocial support complement one another. These Guidelines offer essential advice on how to facilitate an integrated approach to address the most urgent mental health and psychosocial issues in emergency situations.

Pathways to Gender Justice: A Toolkit for People Working in the Immigrant and Refugee Serving Sector in Canada
Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), 2006
(Available in English and in French)
This tool kit is designed for use by individuals for personal and professional development and by groups, for training sessions, educational workshops, program evaluation, policy review, policy development, staff meetings, annual general meetings, etc. It is intended for people working in or accessing services in the immigrant and refugee serving sector in Canada (and abroad, where applicable), including front-line workers, service users, students, volunteers, managers, executive directors, board members, umbrella associations, and municipal, provincial and federal government departments and employees.

Rapid Assessment of Alcohol and Other Substance Use in Conflict-affected and Displaced Populations: A Field Guide
UNHCR & WHO, 2008
(Available in English)
This guide is written for those who plan to include in their work rapid assessments of alcohol and other substance use among conflict-affected and displaced populations

Reporting Human Rights Abuses
The American Anthropological Association Committee for Human Rights was established in 1995. The above link provides information on what to do if you see a human rights abuse in the field.

The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response
The Sphere Project, 2004
(Available in English, Spanish and French)
The aim of the Sphere project handbook is to set guidelines to assess the quality of assistance provided to people affected by disasters, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system in disaster response.In an international initiative aimed at improving the effectiveness and accountability of disaster response, the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response sets out for the first time what people affected by disasters have a right to expect from humanitarian assistance.

The Sphere Project
Available in English, Spanish and French
The Sphere Project was launched in 1997 by a group of humanitarian NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. Sphere is based on two core beliefs: first, that all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of calamity and conflict, and second, that those affected by disaster have a right to life with dignity and therefore a right to assistance. Sphere is three things: a handbook, a broad process of collaboration and an expression of commitment to quality and accountability. The project has developed several tools, the key one being the handbook.

Mailing lists

TCPSYCH: Transcultural Psychiatry Mailing List
McGill Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry
(Available in English)
The forum was conceived to provide an opportunity for members to discuss material related to transcultural psychiatry. This clearly covers a broad range of issues and topics, and over time the group has attracted professionals and scholars from various disciplines and locations, slowly growing to a global forum that now consists of hundreds of members around the world bringing their clinical, academic, intellectual and cultural knowledge and expertise to our ongoing discussions of culture and mental health.

Reports and research findings

Gender and Health Profile in Andean Subregion
A publication of the Office of Gender, Cultural Diversity and Human Rights (GDR) of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) and the Network Mechanisms of the Andean Women (GEM) Panama Publishing, January 2011 The Gender and Health Profile of the Andean Subregion shows the commitment of the Subregion to make visible inequalities, addressing the specific challenges of reducing inequities, and prioritize issues of an unfinished agenda in issues of gender equality in health. Quantitative and qualitative information was used to analyze the roots of health differences between social groups, and identify the root causes of health inequities, thus determining where and how to intervene to reduce these inequities. This profile reveals inequalities, and also describes progress in health development in the Andean subregion. The findings cover two areas, easily recognized, and leading to a new appreciation of social inequalities and the urgency to address these inequalities, in particular those that impact on health.

UNFPA REPORT: From conflict and crisis to renewal-generations of change
Conflict today is less about soldiers engaging in battle with soldiers on the other side of a national border and more about combatants struggling for control within a single country and employing any means to break the will of civilians—women, girls, men and boys—by disempowering them physically, psychologically, economically, and socially. In many of today’s conflicts, women are disempowered by rape or the threat of it, and by the HIV infection, trauma and disabilities that often result from it. Girls are disempowered when they cannot go to school because of the threat of violence, when they are abducted or trafficked, or when their families disintegrate or must flee. In some conflicts, men are also disempowered by sexual violence. Boys, too, are sometimes exploited or forced to become soldiers. The State of World Population 2010 explores how conflict and protracted humanitarian emergencies affect women and girls—and men and boys—and shows how many women and young people have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and have begun rebuilding their lives and laying the foundation for peace and renewal of their societies...

European report on preventing violence and knife crime among young people
World Health Organization
This report highlights interpersonal violence as the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability among people aged 10–29 years in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region. This burden is unequally distributed, and 9 of 10 homicide deaths in the Region occur in low- and middle-income countries. Irrespective of country income, interpersonal violence disproportionately affects young people from deprived sections of society and males, who comprise 4 of 5 homicide deaths. Numerous biological, social, cultural, economic and environmental factors interact to increase young people’s risk of being involved in violence and knife-related crime. Factors that can protect against violence developing among young people include good social skills, self-esteem, academic achievement, strong bonds with parents, positive peer groups, good attachment to school, community involvement and access to social support. Good evidence indicates that reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors will reduce violence among young people. The experience accumulated by several countries in the Region and elsewhere shows that social policy and sustained and systematic approaches that address the underlying causes of violence can make countries in the Region much safer. These make compelling arguments for advocating for increased investment in prevention and for mainstreaming objectives for preventing violence among young people into other areas of health and social policy.

Capacity, Change and Performance: Study Report
Heather Baser and Peter Morgan
Capacity and capacity development have been pervasive concepts in international development cooperation since the late 1980s. But for most of the 1990s, both capacity as an outcome and capacity development as a process –what we call in this report capacity issues – attracted little in the way of serious research. This new study was to have a particular niche: to understand better the processes of capacity development and to provide some good practice to guide IDA programming, particularly at the operational level. The agreed purposes of the study were: to enhance understanding of the interrelationships among capacity, change and performance across a wide range of development experiences; and to provide general recommendations and frameworks to support the effectiveness of external interventions aimed at improving capacity and performance.

IHE Report: Effective Dissemination of Findings from Research
Institute of Health Economics, 2008
The essays presented in this book have grown out of a workshop on effective dissemination of findings from research organized by the Institute of Health Economics (IHE), that was held two years ago at the University of Alberta. The publication includes some of the material presented at that workshop. It is intended as one of the many available resources on dissemination of research findings for those interested in the subject.

Psychosocial Adjustment and Social Reintegration of Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups: The State of the Field and Future Directions
Psychology Beyond Borders (PBB), François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, 2008
(Available in English)
Psychology Beyond Borders (PBB) and researchers from Harvard's François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights are pleased to announce the release of a new report examining the state of research and service in the field of child soldiers. This report, titled "Psychosocial adjustment and social reintegration of children associated with armed forces and armed groups: The state of the field and future directions," focuses on what is known about the psychological health of former child soldiers and the approaches used by people working with this population. The report also examines what major questions exist for future research and service. or additional information about the report and its findings, please contact the authors at RPCGA [at] or PBB at info [at]

Community mobilization after an earthquake :
Case study of the use of the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings on mental health and psychosocial support in Peru

Miryam Rivera, Pau Pérez-Sales, José Luis Aparcana, Mariella Bazán, Camilla Gianella & Alfonso Lozano, 2008.
This article describes and analyzes the first comprehensive case study of the application of the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support by Medicos del Mundo- Spain after the August 2007 earthquake in Peru. The methodology and core principles of the intervention are brie£y summarized. The article explains strategies and key messages that were transmitted at each level. It proposes a multilevel approach that combines lobbying, sensitization, and training with key decision makers and grass roots work with leaders and community organizations. The experience in Peru provides important lessons for future implementation of the guidelines in other disasters.
NOTE: This article is password protected.

Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care: A Global Perspective
World Health Organization and World Organization of Family Doctors, 2008
(Available in English)
This report on integrating mental health into primary care, which was developed jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization of Family Doctors (Wonca), presents the justification and advantages of providing mental health services in primary care. At the same time, it provides advice on how to implement and scale-up primary care for mental health, and describes how a range of health systems have successfully undertaken this transformation.

Research Groups, Programs and Agencies

  • Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research
    The Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) is a not-for-profit organization promoting better and more equitable health worldwide by: (1) Mobilizing greater Canadian investment and involvement in global health research; (2) Nurturing productive partnerships among Canadians and people from low- and middle-income countries; (3) Turning research into action.
  • Global Health at McGill
    The Global Health Programs of the Faculty of Medicine is committed to improving global health through educational, clinical, developmental and research programs that link McGill faculty and students with colleagues throughout Canada and the world in collaborative projects.
  • Global Health Research Capacity Strengthening Program (GHR-CAPS)
    The Global Health Research Capacity Strengthening Program (GHR-CAPS) is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and by the Réseau de recherche en santé des populations du Québec (RRSPQ) to develop and implement a new training program in global health research. The GHR-CAPS will provide an inter-university platform for teaching and training in global health that will include courses, seminars, short-term internships, and an annual summer school.
  • The Global Forum for Health Research
    The Global Forum for Health Research was established as an independent international foundation in Switzerland in 1998. It is an independent international foundation promoting more health research to combat the neglected diseases and conditions that are major sources of ill health in developing countries and to reduce other inequities in health and health research.

Series and thematic collections

Health and Human Rights Info
Health and Human Rights Info aims at making professional experiences and resources more easily accessible to health professionals working with people exposed to human rights abuses, armed conflict, forced migration and other human rights violations. A wide range of important material such as guidelines, manuals, intervention programs and tools for assessment and intervention has been developed over the years. Much of this is already available on the internet, while some material has not been accessible until now. However this material represents highly valuable information in the daily work with survivors of human rights violations, displacement, violence and disasters.

Annotated Bibliography on Cultural Psychiatry
Dr. Francis G. Lu, 2000
(Available in English)
Compiled for the McGill Cultural Consultation Service, this annotated bibliography includes books useful for teaching and essential core textbooks in Cultural Psychiatry.

Violence Prevention: The Evidence

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Liverpool John Moores University have launched Violence Prevention: The Evidence, an eight-part series of briefings on the evidence for interventions to prevent interpersonal and self-directed violence. By spotlighting evidence for the effectiveness of interventions, Violence Prevention: The Evidence provides clear directions for how violence prevention funders, policy makers and programme implementers can boost the impact of their violence prevention efforts.


Mental Health, Religion and Culture


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