|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 1-2
From the editors: ringing the changes in 2019
Wendy Ager1, Marian Tankink2
1 MSc. Editor in Chief, Intervention (2019)
2 PhD. Editor in Chief, Intervention, (2013-2019)
|Date of Web Publication||28-Jun-2019|
Editor in Chief of Intervention
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ager W, Tankink M. From the editors: ringing the changes in 2019. Intervention 2019;17:1-2
Welcome to the first Intervention of the year. With the usual diverse range of articles, field reports and personal reflections, we hope the summer issue has something of interest to you all. Attentive readers will notice that there was no spring issue, but we are looking forward to presenting an special issue focussing on the Rohingya crisis later in the year.
Intervention is saying goodbye to Marian Tankink after more than five years careful stewardship of the journal as Editor in Chief. She has led the journal through significant changes, including the recent switch to online open access publication, which was always her dream. In her place, Wendy Ager, a social worker, community activist and technical editor in MHPSS, became Editor in Chief in February this year. Our current issue represents the work invested in the journal by Marian over the past year.
We also wish to pay tribute to two editorial board members of the Intervention, Guus van der Veer and Pau Perez-Sales, who are also taking their leave. Guus was, together with Ananda Galappatti, the founder of Intervention. Acting as the first Editor in Chief for five years, Guus then joined the editorial board. Intervention owes a lot to him; his work and support has been exceptional and it is difficult to find words to describe all that he has meant to us. Pau Perez-Sales became a board member in 2009. As a psychiatrist and human rights specialist, often working in Latin America, he has brought work on that continent to our readership. Both Guus and Pau have been very supportive to the editors in chief. Happily, Marian Tankink has followed her predecessors in agreeing to become a member of the editorial board.
| Articles|| |
The case study presented by Womersley and Arikut-Treece (pp. 3–12) outlines an evaluation of a mental health intervention at the Free Yezidi Foundation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The results highlight the substantial impact of the political, legal and sociocultural environment on both the prevalence of trauma as well as processes of psychosocial rehabilitation. The women interviewed for the evaluation reported significant difficulties associated with collective multiple losses and separations. These include family members who have sought refuge abroad, the fact that not all Yezidi held in captivity have returned, fear of ongoing attacks and daily stressors related to poor living conditions.
Ventevogel, Ryan, Kahi and Kane (pp. 13–22) describe the revision process of the mental health categories in UNHCR’s Refugee Health Information System (RHIS) into the integrated RHIS (iRHIS). In their article, they give clear insights into how and why changes were made. In this process, many experts in the field were consulted. The iRHIS contains nine categories, whereas the old version had seven. It allows health workers and mental health professionals in refugee settings to better classify their patients with mental, neurological and/or substance use. This article gives very good insights into the changes and why categories are changed and added.
The article by Nayak, Kshtriya and Neugebauer (pp. 23–30) focuses on orphaned or children separated from their parents by the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and who are in unaccompanied children’s centres (UCCs). The authors examined whether children in UCCs with staff trained in simple trauma alleviation methods had lower levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) than children in UCCs staffed by people who had no training in that field at all. They did not find differences in the level of PTSS among children from the different UCCs. The most striking finding was, however, that the girls in UCCs with trained staff showed higher levels of avoidance/numbing and hypervigilance symptoms.
The next article, also about the Rwandan Genocide, addresses its longterm effects. The authors, Eichelsheim, Berckmoes, Hola, Rutayisire and Richters (pp. 31–39), seek to understand how the legacies of the genocide and its aftermath are transmitted to the next generation and how institutional support plays a role in the pathways of this intergenerational transmission. Using qualitative research, they identify direct and indirect pathways. They suggest that organisations that support families in postconflict settings pay more attention to the transmission of violence and trauma and support parents in creating a safe (economic) environment for their children.
The next two articles address staff care. Organisations need to ensure that their staff has adequate access to psychosocial support services, say Strohmeier, Scholte and Ager (pp. 40–49). Their article is based on an online survey with responses from 210 humanitarian workers based in South Sudan. Although both national and international staff would like to have better access to psychosocial support services, the authors indicate that these groups have different priorities regarding staff support and organisations need to reflect these in their provision of services. The authors suggest that organisations should work towards achieving a unified understanding of staff support.
Spencer’s (pp. 50–58) article − also about humanitarian workers − presents a literature review on humanitarian mental health and the role of intimate partners. The author concludes that one of the most effective ways to improve humanitarian mental health is to increase the wellbeing of both the intimate partner and the relationship involved. The article reviews the literature on humanitarian mental health, the protective nature of social support, the relevance of the intimate partner as a provider of social support and the outcome research on interventions that increase social support through the inclusion of the intimate partner.
In their article about using motivational interviewing (MI) with refugees, Potocky and Guskovict (pp. 59–68) indicate the potential MI has for MHPSS in both emergency and non-emergency refugee settings. They describe their experiences of using a three-hour webinar to train case managers in motivational interviewing in the US refugee resettlement non-governmental organisations. They conclude that a brief, cost-effective, MI training enhances empathy among the psychosocial staff working with refugees.
It is unusual to find that an author and editor are one and the same person! In this article by Ager, French, Fitzgibbon and Ager (pp. 69–75), we find Wendy Ager listed as an author. In her defence, the article was published ahead of print before she was appointed as the new Editor in Chief! The article is based on a literature review on faith-sensitive psychosocial programming. The authors identify five arguments for seeking faith-sensitivity in psychosocial programming, while also outlining problems in making programmes faith-sensitive. They suggest better guidance to be provided in negotiating with the threats of partiality and harmful practices linked to religious affiliation and belief.
Upadhaya, Tize, Adhikari, Gurung, Pokhrel, Maharjan and Reis (pp. 76–85) present the findings of an ethnographic study conducted with high-school students in Nepal. Their research shows that adolescents experience distress at home, in school and in the community and indicates the complex reciprocal interactions between individuals and their immediate environment. The authors also suggest a ‘mobility’ between and among home, school and the community that affects individuals’ emotional-relational wellbeing.
The article by Ziveri, Kiani & Broquet explores the extent to which psychosocial support impacts the wellbeing and agency of Syrian households receiving agricultural inputs in an inclusive livelihood programme. These results strongly suggest that an integrated approach providing PSS alongside livelihood interventions has added value for vulnerable persons in restoring their resilience. This article is, again, a strong plea for mainstreaming MHPSS into other sectors.
| Field reports|| |
Steinhilber (pp. 96–102) describes an evaluation of psychosocial support provided for postgraduate students in Jordan (including Syrian refugees and the socially disadvantaged Jordanian host community) in her field report. Access to higher education as well as obtaining an academic degree was difficult for these two groups, while at the same time both groups showed a vulnerability to mental disorders. The evaluation showed that psychosocial support was helpful, but that there should be attention to gender differences.
The field report by Akasaka and Kawashima (pp. 103–108) details how Save the Children provided psychological first aid (PFA) for children during the Kumamoto earthquake in 2016. The staff received a one-day brief orientation on the three PFA action principles, ‘look, listen and link’. Their report describes how staff at child friendly spaces responded to children using PFA over a one-month period. It demonstrates how PFA forms an integral component of a MHPSS system in communities affected by disasters.
| Personal reflection|| |
This personal reflection considers the discontinuation of counselling by survivors of family violence in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Family and sexual violence is, unfortunately, widespread in that region. Acosta (pp. 109–113) reflects on the psychosocial support intervention for the survivors. It draws on a feedback exercise with survivors intended to ask about their satisfaction with services and the reasons for not returning for follow-up counselling sessions. The answers provide valuable insights for the adjustment of care in a culturally appropriate manner to survivors’ needs.
| In memoriam|| |
We close this issue with a tribute to the work of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, written by Loughry (pp. 114–115). Dr Harrell-Bond’s long career in humanitarian and refugee studies contributed significantly to the development of policy and practice in mental health and psychosocial work.
| Erratum|| |
There is an erratum regarding the paper by Yamaguchi (2018). Witnessing the vulnerabilities and capabilities of one Afghan woman: Cultural values as a source of resilience in daily life. Intervention, 16(3), 287-289.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.