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CUofSS IJPS J&P Brief Mental Health

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JUSTICE AND PEACE BRIEF
01|2018
SOCIO-CULTURAL PERCEPTIONS ON VIOLENCE,
SUFFERING AND MENTAL HEALTH IN SOUTH SUDAN
Over the past decade, a wide range of national and international humanitarian, diplomatic,
religious, human rights, media and academic actors have increasingly referred to South
Sudan, as ‘a traumatized nation’1, a notion that extends to historical and contemporary
South Sudanese refugee and diasporic communities, and has intensified with the outbreak
of renewed conflict in December 2013.
Both in global and more localized
SUMMARY
discourses on how conflict affects South
 The effects of prolonged conflict on South Sudan
Sudanese,
suffering
has
become
are predominantly viewed through a narrow lens
synonymous to traumatisation. The
of trauma.
‘nationalization’ of trauma consolidates
 This has contributed to a homogenization of
the metanarrative of violence and
diverse everyday lived experiences and sociocultural processes through which people
emergency that has defined scholarly and
recognize, experience and express suffering and
humanitarian discourse on the Sudans for
imagine recovery.
decades and is grounded in the
 Although there is a growing body of quantitative,
assumption that the majority of South
neuroscientific research on the mental health
Sudanese is traumatized by their
impact of conflict in South Sudan, this research
experiences with past and present-day
project is among the first to study mental health
violent conflict and structural violence.
using a qualitative, social scientific approach in
South Sudan.
This brief does not question the reality of
 This brief suggests that for mental health
suffering
and
experiences
with
interventions in South Sudan to be relevant and
destruction, violence and death: many
effective it is critical to gain a better
citizens of South Sudan, throughout their
understanding of the processes through which
lifetimes, have experienced continued
trauma has become embedded in everyday
exposure to crisis and insecurity.
vocabularies and has been adapted with different
However, our understanding of the
cultural and symbolic meanings.
interconnection
between
violence,
suffering and mental health is grounded in a more contextual, intersubjective and
intersectional approach and is attentive to cultural idiosyncrasies. South Sudan is a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation and because of historical experiences with
displacement and the diverse life trajectories of people, even within one particular social or
ethnic group there is no singular way in which people make sense of suffering.
1
Among many examples, Amnesty International in a 2016 study titled ‘“Our Hearts Have Gone Dark”: The
Mental Health Impact of South Sudan’s Conflict’, uncritically titles a sub-chapter “South Sudan: A Traumatized
Nation.”
|
Trauma Identification and Humanitarian Interventions
The characterization of South Sudan as a
traumatized nation implies that (unresolved)
historical and intergenerational trauma
excites present episodes of violence. Ingrid
Breidlid and Michael Arensen (2014, 7), for
example, argue that “limited trauma-healing
programs and the lack of a national
reconciliation process until recently have
contributed to the transfer of the culture of
violence and historical grievances to younger
generations” and a joint South Sudan Law
Society
(SSLS)
and
United
Nations
Development Program (UNDP) survey (2015,
1) noted that “the mental health
consequences of decades of trauma are
among the many factors driving the current
conflict.” In an ambiguous manner, trauma
has become an explanation - and at times
justification - for ongoing violence and this
has come to define the biographical facts of
individuals and the entire nation (Breslau
2004), reducing people to a state of
vulnerability and incapacitation.
The concept of trauma to describe painful and
tragic events, personally and collectively, is a
relatively recent invention and over the past
decades became globally used and integrated
in multiple cultural contexts, both in medical
and social spheres. During the late 1980s and
early 1990s, the trauma concept and the
interrelated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) gained universal prominence and PTSD
became rapidly diagnosed in diverse local
contexts. In South Sudan, like in many other
humanitarian settings, a clear connection can
be established between increased trauma
identification and humanitarian interventions.
In the midst of the second war (1983-2005),
trauma and PTSD were introduced to thenSouthern Sudanese aid recipients inside
Sudan and among refugees in neighbouring
countries and diaspora communities in the
United States, Canada and Europe. Despite
the prevailing characterisation of South Sudan
as a traumatized nation, there is relatively
little data available about the prevalence of
PTSD among South Sudanese. During the
second war, a dozen of surveys were
conducted with the aim of identifying levels of
IJPS Justice and Peace Brief 01|2018
PTSD and depression among Southern
Sudanese refugee and displaced communities
(Karanukara et al. 2004; Neuner et al. 2004 ;
during the second interbellum period similar
studies were conducted among urban
populations in various cities in South Sudan
(i.e. Juba, Torit and Aweil) (Ayazi et al. 2012;
Roberts et al. 2009; Winkler 2010); and after
the outbreak of renewed conflict the focus of
these studies shifted and extended to people
displaced to Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites
across the country (Deng et al. 2015; Deng et
al. 2015b).
For example, between 1988 and 1994,
successive assessments were conducted
among a mobile group of so-called
unaccompanied minors, following them from
Pinyudo in Ethiopia to Kakuma in Kenya.
These studies, although they focus on a
similar segment of Southern Sudanese
refugee
populations,
reach
opposing
conclusions about existing levels of posttraumatic stress and need for mental health
intervention. Between September 1988 and
November 1990, RaddaBarnen, the Swedish
branch of Save the Children, found that 1% of
the children who were enrolled in a
preventive mental health programme ran in
Pinyudo refugee camp needed treatment for
mental disturbances (Nilén 1994, 7). A study
conducted in 1993 by the United Nations
International Children’s Emergency Fund
(UNICEF) among a similar group of
unaccompanied minors in Nasir and Kakuma
finds that 96 out of 174 (55%) minors
‘assessed’ were in need of extensive
intervention because of PTSD. The UNICEF
results are disputed by a team of Swedish
paediatricians who are commissioned by
RaddaBarnen to do a follow-up study in
Kakuma in 1995. Olle Jepson and Anders
Hjern (2006, 67) argue that the culturespecific socialization processes of young boys
among Dinka “proves to be very efficient in
coping with the stresses of flight and war” and
2
in congruence with the 1988-9 observations
argue that levels of PTSD are dismissible.2
More recent surveys conducted among
diverse populations inside South Sudan arrive
at varying conclusions about the prevalence
of PTSD in South Sudan. Nina Winkler (2010,
4) studied the mental health status of forty
male and female ex-combatants and women
associated with the SPLA in three
reintegration centres in Juba, Torit and Aweil
and concluded that although all participants
had been exposed to traumatic events, she
diagnosed only one individual (accounting for
2,5%) with PTSD.
Ayazi et al. (2012)
conducted research into socio-economic and
trauma-related risk factors associated with
PTSD, depression and PTSD-depression
comorbidity in Greater Bahr el Ghazal
amongst a population of 1200. The research
found PTSD in 331 (28%) and depression in 75
(6,4%) of the study population. The
researchers found that socioeconomic
disadvantage and exposure to traumatic
events increased the occurrence of both PTSD
and PTSD-depression comorbidity and
increased levels of psychological distress.
Ayazi et al (2012, 2) emphasize “the influence
of aggravated social and material conditions
related to armed conflict”. Although none of
the surveys are longitudinal, all assume an
accumulative nature of trauma. In the period
between October 2014 and April 2015, the
South Sudan Law Society interviewed 1525
individuals in 11 locations across six of the ten
states of South Sudan and Abyei to gain a
2
Although Jepson and Hjern are critical of the
biomedical model of trauma, the research preidentified symptoms related to post-traumatic
suffering: intrusive memories; mood and fears, and
does not take into account that concepts of
sadness and fear are highly subjective and
contextual. It is important to note here that the
authors describe ‘Dinka culture’ in highly archaic,
static and homogeneous terms, openly referring to
Dinka culture as “so exotic” (ibid., 79). The imagery
of a singular and static ‘Dinka culture’ is false as
wider forces of economic transformation, colonial
and postcolonial rule, urbanization, civil war and
conversion to Christianity and Islam significantly
altered social relations and cultural practices.
IJPS Justice and Peace Brief 01|2018
deeper understanding on perceptions of
truth, justice, reconciliation and healing in
South Sudan. The survey found that 41% of
respondents endorsed symptoms consistent
with a diagnosis of PTSD. The number of
people who exhibit PTSD symptoms was
higher amongst people who were displaced at
the time of the survey and men (45%) showed
more symptoms of PTSD than women (36%).
A survey similar in nature was conducted in
the Protection of Civilians (POC) site in
Malakal in August 2015 and surveyed 1178
people. Fifty-three percent (48% male and
52% female) of respondents exhibit
symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of
PTSD.
All these surveys operate from a
universalising medical approach and use
similar survey methods, like Harvard Trauma
Questionnaire,
MINI
International
Neuropsychiatric
Interview,
Hopkins
Symptoms Check-List, etc., and reference to
and build on each other. These instruments
are all quantitative and close-ended in nature
and use ‘yes’/’no’ questions and fixed severity
scales (i.e. ‘not at all’, ‘a little’, ‘quite a bit’,
‘extremely’). The researchers uncritically
presuppose a universal understanding of
scales,
perceptions
of
time
and
understandings of metaphysical concepts like
‘ability’, ‘energy’ and ‘emotional problems’.
Researchers
emphasize
that
these
instruments have been designed or adapted
to be used in a non-clinical setting and are
universally
recognized
and
validated
transcultural instruments to screen for
trauma in refugee and conflict-affected
populations, but a comparative analysis of
these different studies clearly shows that the
measures innately confirm a causal
connection between traumatic experiences
and psychiatric symptoms like PTSD,
depression and suicidality. We caution against
the manners in which humanitarian
organisations, researchers and international
institutions “appropriate and strategically
deploy aspects of the category of “trauma”
(Lester 2013, 754). There exists a thin line
between the pathologizing of suffering and
the normalizing of psychological disorders, a
process that can clearly be observed from the
3
initial and careful introduction of trauma to
an almost unquestioning application.
Concerns and expressions of distress are not
homogeneous and universal, but are
culturally and socially grounded. Even though
PTSD symptoms are diagnosed, this does not
mean that people react similarly to traumatic
experiences or that these are relevant in the
ways in which people give meaning to daily
life experiences. A singular focus on trauma
and PTSD symptoms ignores how people deal
with insecure daily life conditions and
continued exposure to violence. These studies
thus are grounded in a particular Western
nosologic framework that dominantly focuses
on individual pathology and does not
acknowledge that “situations are invariably
constituted by intersubjectivity, social and
economic conditions of possibility and
constraints, and the shaping of cultural
expectations of persons in relation to gender,
mental and political status” (Jenkins 2015, 3).
The focus of PTSD symptoms tends to be on
past events; however, in a continuously
insecure and fluctuant environment, people
may be more preoccupied with immediate life
conditions.
Local Vocabularies on Suffering and Mental Health
The Western biomedical model ignores
complex differences in the interpretation of
psychological
symptoms
and
causal
attributions. The adoption of a transnational
concept, in this case the trauma concept,
occurs simultaneously with a process of
adaptation in which new ideas and meanings
are framed and presented in terms of existing
cultural norms, values and practices and
transnational ideas are altered and
transformed into something different but still
called by the same name. Mental health is
“not confined to a psychiatric vocabulary; it is
embedded in everyday usage” (Fassin and
Rechtman 2009, 9). Byron Good and Devon
Hinton (2016, 5) propose to move away from
the narrow view of PTSD to a broader view of
‘complex trauma’ that focuses on the “effects
on lives in particular cultural settings and the
implications for trauma treatment and trauma
research in cross-cultural settings”. We
propose a shift in focus from “categorical
comparative
universalisms
of
clinical
diagnoses” to “cultural and local everyday
particularisms” (Good 2013, 744), but at the
same time we emphasize the need to be
critical towards oversimplifying divisions
between
universal/particular,
biomedical/cultural, neurological/behavioural
and intrapsychic/intersubjective as in mental
health notions and practices individual,
interpersonal, local and translocal spheres
overlap.
Our empirical research shows that the overall
majority of research participants have varying
degrees of familiarity with the trauma
concept and only one-quarter of the research
participants were entirely unfamiliar with the
concept and had never heard of the word
trauma. This lack of familiarity was generally
explained in reference to one’s educational
and experiential background. People were
commonly introduced to the concept in a
humanitarian, educational or religious
context, both inside South Sudan and in
neighbouring countries. Most of the research
participants with a minimal knowledge of the
trauma concept were introduced to the
concept after the outbreak of renewed
violence in December 2013, which confirms
the intensification of usage in a context of
renewed violent conflict and humanitarian
emergency relief. Generally, research
participants establish a direct connection
between trauma and violence, both on a
personal and a more collective or national
level. The trauma concept is used to describe
a diverse set of experiences that are
interrelated to violent conflict: domestic and
sexual violence, poverty, unemployment and
inability to meet normative societal
expectations. JK3 speaks in a comprehensive
voice when he states that:
3
IJPS Justice and Peace Brief 01|2018
Juba, 6 September 2016.
4
“In every corner here in South Sudan, people
speak about fighting which means people have
been traumatized by conflict. Not a single
person is not traumatized because even those
who run to the refuge they now think about
shunuu, about fighting in South Sudan. Those
in the government, they are now thinking
about fighting. Those in the opposition, each
and every person is now thinking about
fighting, which means that every mile of South
Sudan is about fighting, which means that they
have been traumatized by this.”
Research participants identified gendered and
generational categories of traumatized
people. Women and children are commonly
described as more vulnerable in a situation of
violent conflict and displacement and are
believed to be more affected by trauma than
men. For example, LC4 states:
Our empirical data shows that across the
different language groups a distinction is
made between conceptual and descriptive
translations of trauma. The conceptual
translations largely liken trauma to madness
and the descriptive translations are more
conditional or symptomatic in character,
referring to the situation that leads to trauma
or describing a diverse set of physical,
psychological and physiological symptoms.
These symptomatic descriptions generally
refer to a ‘confused’ or ‘destroyed’ mind.
There exists a clear hierarchy between the
two and the latter is considered to be more
severe and permanent than the former. Both
the terms confusion and destruction are also
used to describe the broader situation of
violent conflict in South Sudan.
These
gendered
and
generational
understandings are informed by societal
norms and dominant masculinities as in the
instances men were described as traumatized
it was not in reference to experiences with
direct violence, but more in relation to the
inability of men to fulfil dominant
masculinities, like the provision of food and
protection of family. These understandings
build on societal ideas and expectations of
how women and men are supposed to behave
in the face of violence and destruction and
although dominant masculinities across
different communities in South Sudan are
shaped variously, they often contain
militaristic, patriarchal and hyper-masculine
characteristics.
No technical vocabulary exists for trauma in
the various colloquial languages and although
narrators generally translated trauma as
madness, it is clearly understood by the
majority of narrators that not all signs and
acts of madness can be explained as trauma
and trauma is seen as a lighter form of
madness. Participants commonly discuss
trauma as causing a change in thinking
patterns and mind-set defined in terms of a
shift from ‘normal’ to ‘abnormal’. This
involves an interpretation of madness as
‘abnormality’ as well as a reference to the
situation in the country and can be perceived
as one of the ways in which people give
meaning
to
conflict
dynamics
and
precariousness and sometimes fail to
comprehend the extremities of everyday life.
SA5 defines trauma as “when anything bad
happened to you it changes your thinking and
other people can see you as you are not in
yourself, also your thinking order will change
when something bad happens to you (…) you
get shocked and remain abnormal and cannot
live a normal life.” In both Bari and Dinka the
word confusion is derived from the word
famine or drought (Bari: dyanugu; Dinka:
arier), or more generically a situation of
‘absence’, which describes the consequences
of a situation of loss, which seems as
expandable as the understanding of trauma:
4
5
“I will say most people who are affected are
children and women, because most time
women know, with this struggle, very many
struggles, with these very many conflicts, more
people who lost their life are men in the
struggle and then they leave women and
children with nothing. So this one
automatically accumulates a trauma against
them, because they cannot afford anything. As
well men, some few are affected, because if
you cannot put food on the table, you find
yourself running mad as the result. So, but
most types people who are affected by trauma
are women and children.”
Terekeka, 6 August 2016.
IJPS Justice and Peace Brief 01|2018
Juba, 20 September 2016.
5
dispossession of land, displacement, food
insecurity and hunger, theft of or separation
from property and personal belongings and
violation on personal freedoms, but also more
metaphysically to an absence of faith and
dignity. This is in opposition to the emphasis
of trauma as a condition in which there are
too many thoughts, or more specifically too
many bad thoughts, which refers to an
unconstructive abundance. Coker (2002, 23)
finds a similar focus on ‘thinking too much’
among South Sudanese refugees in Cairo and
argues that it “was a very common
exacerbating factor in illness, even if it was
not seen to have directly caused the illness.”
Trauma is generally understood to be situated
in the head. In Bari this is explained as
dyanguyy na kwe (confused head) or korju na
kwe (spoiled/damaged head). In Nuer this is
described as ram mi ca cere nyon (a person
whose head is destroyed). In Dinka this is
translated as riak-nhom (head damage) or
arier-nhom (confusion of the head). The
words kwe (Bari), cere (Nuer) nhom (Dinka)
literally translate as head, but it is emphasized
by the narrators that head refers to the mind
and not the brain, for which there exist a
separate terminology in all the colloquial
IJPS Justice and Peace Brief 01|2018
languages6. This distinction is telling as both
the mind and the brain are believed to be
situated in the head, but the brain is
something that can be ‘touched’ (local,
indigenous versus scientific knowledge),
whereas the mind is abstract, metaphysical.
We carefully establish a connection here that
needs to be explored in more depth to
understandings in Acholi and Balanda (which
are both from the Luo language family),
where the word trauma is translated as
jokjok7, translated both as gods (pl.) and
madness. The reference carries multiple
connotations: on the one hand trauma is
perceived as something that is extraordinary
and mysterious and inexplicable; on the other
hand it refers to a person who is possessed by
spirits and behaves in an uncontrollable
manner.
The cultural understanding of trauma as
located in the mind and not the brain is in
6
The word for brain carries a similar root (nyit) in
Nuer, Dinka, Acholi and Bari. Further research will
have to be conducted to gain a deeper
understanding of the etymological history of the
word and its widespread usage.
7
Jok in Dinka is translated as evil spirit and in Nuer
as disease. However, none of the Dinka and Nuer
narrators established a clear connection between
the concept of jok and the trauma concept.
6
opposition to Western medical explanations
of trauma, which often speak exclusively
about neurological processes. However, the
majority of Nuer research participants – many
of whom participated in longer or shorterterm trainings and workshops on trauma
awareness and healing organised by
international humanitarian organisations and
religious institutions inside the Protection of
Civilian (PoC) sites in Juba - shared an almost
standardized definition of trauma with the
student researchers that focuses on
psychological processes. We emphasize that
this confirms the global observation that the
trauma concept gains traction in diverse social
contexts as a result of humanitarian
interventions as the lives of people inside the
PoC are most intensely informed, even
governed by humanitarian structures.
Suggestions for a Research Agenda on Mental Health in South Sudan
Our student-led research has shown that over the past decade many South Sudanese have
internalized the trauma discourse and actively use it to express and characterize personal and
societal experiences with violence, loss and death. The various meanings that are appointed to the
trauma concept sometimes overlap with and often expand neuroscientific, biomedical classifications
and existing phenomena and vocabularies like madness are used to speak about the psycho-social
effects of violence and suffering. Intrapsychic, neurological approaches often overlook diverse and
differing meanings and modes of the experiences of suffering and ways in which individual meaningmaking processes are tied into larger societal forces of possibility and constraint that inform and
create collective and personal conditions of injury, disorder and mental health.
In this Justice and Peace brief we emphasize the importance of moving beyond mental health
studies that measure trauma and PTSD exposure and focus instead on the processes of adoption and
adaptation of the trauma concept in diverse socio-cultural contexts and explore how this contributes
to the creation of new vocabularies, understandings and experiences with afflictions and memory.
We advocate for a more critical, interdisciplinary and relativistic investigation of the interconnection
between violence, suffering and mental health that combines intrapsychic and intersubjective
approaches. In South Sudan, an often essentialist, causal connection has been established between
violence, suffering and mental health. Experiences with violence and suffering do not automatically
translate into traumatisation and this narrow lens on South Sudan has contributed to a
pathologization and homogenization of experiences with violent conflict, loss, death, displacement
and food insecurity, ignoring socio-historical diversities.
This student-led research project has many limitations and extensive long-term and multi-sited
research needs to be conducted to better understand the interactions between (inter)national
humanitarian organisations, religious institutions, community-based organisations and citizens in the
area of mental health and psycho-social wellbeing. Further research needs to be conducted into
existing mental health care infrastructures and treatment methods and practices in public hospitals
and mental health support and services provided by humanitarian and church organisations as well
as cultural beliefs and practices around mental illness among various social groups and how these
different approaches and value systems interact with and influence each. This should involve doing
research with the people afflicted by mental illness as well as with medical professionals, relatives
and the wider socio-political environment into the biochemical, political, economic, spiritual and
cultural dimensions of mental health (see Jenkins 2015, 7).
References
Ayazi, Touraj, Lars Lien, Arne H Eide, Majok Malek
Ruom and Edvard Hauff. “What Are the Risk
Factors for the Comorbidity of Posttraumatic
Stress Disorder and Depression in a War-Affected
IJPS Justice and Peace Brief 01|2018
Population? A Cross-Sectional Community Study in
South Sudan.”BMC Psychiatry 12/75 (2012): 1-13.
Breidlid, Ingrid Marie and Michael J. Arensen.
““Anyone Who Can Carry a Gun Can Go” The Role
7
of the White Army in the Current Conflict in South
Sudan.” PRIO Papers 2014: 1-12. Online available
at:
https://www.prio.org/utility/DownloadFile.ashx?id
=358&type=publicationfile.
Breslau,
Joshua.
“Cultures
of
Trauma:
Anthropological Views of Posttraumatic Stress
Disorder in International Health.” Culture,
Medicine and Psychiatry 28 (2004): 113-126.
Coker, Elizabeth Marie. “Travelling
Embodied Metaphors of Suffering
Southern Sudanese Refugees in Cairo.”
Medicine and Psychiatry 28 (2004):
Pains”:
among
Culture,
15-39.
Deng, David K., Belkys Lopez, Matthew Pritchard
and Lauren C. Ng. Search for a New Beginning:
Perceptions of Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and
Healing in South Sudan. United Nations
Development Programme, 2015. Online available
at:
http://www.ss.undp.org/content/dam/southsuda
n/library/Rule%20of%20Law/Perception%20Surve
y%20Report%20Transitional%20Justice%20Reconc
iliation%20and%20Healing%20-.pdf.
Deng, David K., Matthew F. Pritchard and Manasi
Sharma. A War Within: Perceptions of Truth,
Justice, Reconciliation and Healing in Malakal POC
.South Sudan Law Society, 2015.
Fassin, Didier and Richard Rechtman. The Empire
of Trauma. An Inquiry into the Condition of
Victimhood. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton
University Press, 2009.
Good, Byron and Devon Hinton. “Introduction.
Culture, Trauma and PTSD.” In Culture and PTSD.
Trauma in Global and Historical Perspective, edited
by Devon E. Hinton and Byron J. Good.
Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press,
2016: pp. 3-49.
Jenkins, Janis H. Extraordinary Conditions. Cultures
and Experience in Mental Illness. Oakland:
University of California Press, 2015.
Jeppsson, Olle and Anders Hjern.“Traumatic Stress
in Context. A Study of Unaccompanied Minors
from Southern Sudan.”In Forced Migration and
Mental Health. Rethinking the Care of Refugees
and Displaced Persons, edited by David Ingleby.
Dordrecht: Springer, 2006: pp. 67-80.
Karunakara, Unni Krishnan, Frank Neuner,
Margarete Schauer, Kavita Sigh, Kenneth Hills,
Thomas Elberts and Gilbert Burnha. “Traumatic
Events and Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress
Disorder amongst Sudanese Nationals, Refugees
and Ugandans in the West Nile. African Health
Sciences 4/2 (2004):83-93.
Neuner, Frank, Maggie Schauer, UnniKarunakara,
Christine Klaschik, Christina Robert and Thomas
Elbert.“Psychological Trauma and Evidence for
Enhanced Vulnerability for Posttraumatic Stress
Disorder through Previous Trauma among West
Nile Refugees.BMC Psychiatry 4/34 (2004): 1-7.
Roberts, Bayard and Eliaba Yona Damundu, Olivia
Lomoro and Egbert Sondorp. “Post-conflict Mental
Health Needs: A Cross-sectional Survey of Trauma,
Depression and Associated Factors in Juba,
Southern Sudan.” BMC Psychiatry9/7 (2009): 1-10.
Winkler, Nina. “Psycho-social Intervention Needs
among Ex-combatants in Southern Sudan.”
Southern Sudan DDR Commission and Bonn
International Center for Conversion, 2010.
About this brief
About the authors
This Justice and Peace Brief is based primarily on oral history
research conducted by a team of staff and student researchers of
the Institute for Justice and Peace Studies (IJPS; formerly
Institute for Applied Research and Community Outreach)
between July and December 2016 in Juba, South Sudan. The
research sought to gain deeper and more dynamic insights in
societal understandings of and diverse vocabularies used to give
meaning to and describe the mental health effects of violent
conflict, displacement, loss and death on the lives of people. The
research project was student-led and actively aimed to
strengthen the research and analytical capacity of young South
Sudanese graduates.
The research was conducted by Albino Tongun, Jackson
Zingbondo, Loes Lijnders, Rose Yangi, Rev. Dr. Stephen Ameyu,
Stephen Gai, Vicky Amal and Zebedeo Malith. This Justice and
Peace Brief has been prepared by Loes Lijnders.
We warmly thank the Swiss Agency for Development
Cooperation IJPS
(SADC)
for providing
funding
support for the
Justice
and Peace
Brief 01|2018
student-led research project.
About the Institute for Justice and Peace Studies
The Catholic University of South Sudan (CUofSS) is a faith-based,
private higher learning institution and provides bachelor and
diploma programmes in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in
Juba and the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Science in
Wau, South Sudan. The Institute for Justice and Peace Studies,
established in 2017, is an interdisciplinary centre in the Catholic
University and provides academic programmes, conducts
research and engages in community outreach on a wide
range of
8
topics related to social justice, non-violence and peacebuilding.
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