World Mental Health Day 2015

WMHD2015October 10th is World Mental Health Day, with the theme “Dignity in Mental Health”. According to the World Federation for Mental Health‘s report on the subject, the World Dignity Project defines three types of dignity:

1. Human Dignity (external): Physical care and respect for the individual.
2. Self Dignity (internal): Feeling empowered in the treatment process.
3. Universal Dignity: How society treats those with mental illness.

The WHO has also put together an information sheet on the subject. Read it here.

Join the movement using the hashtag #IAmStigmaFree.

The following is a selection of articles from the current volume of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology related to this year’s theme:

Predictors of delayed disclosure of rape in female adolescents and young adults
By Iva A. E. Bicanic, Lieve M. Hehenkamp, Elise M. van de Putte, Arjen J. van Wijk, and Ad de Jongh
Published 11 May 2015

Delayed disclosure may lead to decreased use of medical services, and are less able to benefit from evidence collection.  Education is needed to reduce the stigma, encourage reporting, and to respect the rape survivors by allowing them to make decisions about their treatment.

“Adolescents may be less able to overcome the barriers to disclose, including factors such as assailant tactics for maintaining secrecy, stigma that often accompanies rape, and fear that their parents would consequently limit their freedom …”

“In addition, education may increase victims’ willingness to disclose early, thereby increasing opportunities for access to health and police services. It is more likely to reach adolescents with direct, active, and online outreach programs … wherein adolescents and young adults are being treated as agents and decision makers …”

Untested assumptions: psychological research and credibility assessment in legal decision-making
By Jane Herlihy and Stuart Turner
Published 19 May 2015

Authors Herlihy and Turner discuss the barriers for asylum seekers and survivors of sexual assault to successfully navigate the judicial system. It is imperative to question assumptions that can have large impacts on the decision-makers’ perception of a refugee’s or victim’s credibility. The traumatized person cannot be the decision-maker of his own fate in these scenarios, so agents of the criminal justice system have an even greater responsibility to carry out their duties with the victim’s dignity in mind.

“These areas of law have two key issues in common: the salience of the trauma experience, and the frequent absence of any objective evidence. For example, in cases of rape—where the issue concerns consent—almost always it is a case of one person’s story against another’s. Similarly in claims for asylum, someone with a history of detention and torture is unlikely to have any documentation to confirm their account. This means that decisions in both types of case rely heavily on an initial assessment of the credibility of the trauma history … Key studies have shown how the two issues (trauma and credibility) can interact with undesirable results—setting those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related symptoms at a significant disadvantage.”

The influence of shame on posttrauma disorders: have we failed to see the obvious?
By Terry F. Taylor
Published 22 September 2015

A review of the literature on post-trauma shame reveals the importance of identifying shame as separate from guilt; as a prominent post-trauma emotion; and the need for delicacy by the therapist to avoid shaming the patient by either diagnosis or disinterest.

“The aspect of shame that involves stigma associated with seeking treatment is well documented, particularly in the case of military or police, whose training and sub-culture emphasise stoicism … Less well recognised is the shame that may be present in the therapeutic situation itself when the patient is required to display his or her vulnerability to the therapist, who might be perceived as impatient, judgemental, or disinterested …”

Further Reading

FCAP 2015: Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health in the Pacific
RANZCP Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2015 Abstracts and Conference Proceedings
Published 29 September 2015 in Translational Development Psychiatry

SPECIAL ISSUE: Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health
a joint publishing venture of Global Health Action and European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Co-occurring intimate partner violence, mental health, and substance use problems: a scoping review
By Robin Mason and Susan E. O’Rinn
Published 20 November 2014

Joint Editorial: Intimate partner violence and mental health—Remarks from two Chief Editors on a joint publishing venture
By Miranda Olff and Stig Wall
Published 12 September 2014

Editorial: Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health
By Mary Ellsberg and Maria Emmelin
Published 12 September 2014

Intimate partner violence among African American and African Caribbean women: prevalence, risk factors, and the influence of cultural attitudes
By Jamila K. Stockman, Marguerite B. Lucea,Richelle Bolyard, Desiree Bertand, Gloria B. Callwood, Phyllis W. Sharps, Doris W. Campbell, and Jacquelyn C. Campbell
Published 12 September 2014

Exposure to intimate partner violence reduces the protective effect that women’s high education has on children’s corporal punishment: a population-based study
By Mariano Salazar,Kjerstin Dahlblom, Lucia Solórzano, and Andrés Herrera
Published 12 September 2014

Intimate partner violence and its association with maternal depressive symptoms 6–8 months after childbirth in rural Bangladesh
By Zarina N. Kabir, Hashima-E Nasreen, and Maigun Edhborg
Published 12 September 2014

Perceptions of the mental health impact of intimate partner violence and health service responses in Malawi
By Lignet Chepuka, Miriam Taegtmeyer, Genesis Chorwe-Sungani, Janet Mambulasa, Ellen Chirwa, and Rachel Tolhurst
Published 12 September 2014

The role of mental health in primary prevention of sexual and gender-based violence
By Aník Gevers and Elizabeth Dartnall
Published 12 September 2014

Implementing intimate partner violence care in a rural sub-district of South Africa: a qualitative evaluation
By Kate Rees, Virginia Zweigenthal, and Kate Joyner
Published 12 September 2014

‘SASA! is the medicine that treats violence’. Qualitative findings on how a community mobilisation intervention to prevent violence against women created change in Kampala, Uganda
By Nambusi Kyegombe, Elizabeth Starmann, Karen M. Devries, Lori Michau, Janet Nakuti, Tina Musuya, Charlotte Watts, and Lori Heise
Published 12 September 2014

Intimate partner violence and poor mental health among Thai women residing in Sweden
By Cecilia Fernbrant, Maria Emmelin, Birgitta Essén, Per-Olof Östergren, and Elizabeth Cantor-Graae
Published 16 September 2014

Domestic violence and mental health: a cross-sectional survey of women seeking help from domestic violence support services
By Giulia Ferrari, Roxane Agnew-Davies, Jayne Bailey, Louise Howard, Emma Howarth, Tim J. Peters, Lynnmarie Sardinha, and Gene Feder
Published 15 October 2014

Intimate Partner Violence and Mental Health
By Sheila Sprague and Miranda Olff
Published 12 September 2014

Assessing the co-occurrence of intimate partner violence domains across the life-course: relating typologies to mental health
By Cherie Armour and Emma Sleath
Published 12 September 2014

Childhood maltreatment and intimate partner violence in dissociative disorder patients
By Aliya R. Webermann, Bethany L. Brand, and Gregory S. Chasson
Published 12 September 2014

Adult experience of mental health outcomes as a result of intimate partner violence victimisation: a systematic review
By Susan Lagdon, Cherie Armour, and Maurice Stringer
Published 12 September 2014

Predictors of change in mental health and distress among women attending a women’s shelter
By Patricia Hoyeck, Kim Madden, Clare Freeman, Taryn Scott, and Mohit Bhandari
Published 12 September 2014

Intimate partner violence and drug-addicted women: from explicative models to gender-oriented treatments
By Alessandra Simonelli, Caterina E. Pasquali, and Francesca De Palo
Published 12 September 2014

Effects of an intervention program for female victims of intimate partner violence on psychological symptoms and perceived social support
By Nina B. Hansen, Sara B. Eriksen, and Ask Elklit
Published 12 September 2014

‘‘It will always continue unless we can change something’’: consequences of intimate partner violence for indigenous women, children, and families
By Catherine E. Burnette and Clare Cannon
Published 12 September 2014

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