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Call for papers

Mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees

In August 2017, a major humanitarian crisis in the Rakhine State of Myanmar caused the unprecedented displacement of almost a million stateless Rohingya refugees into neighbouring Bangladesh, adding to the estimated 300,000 Rohingya refugees who had fled to Bangladesh earlier. There are also an estimated 73,000 Rohingya refugees in Malaysia and significant numbers of Rohingya in India, Pakistan, the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, and Australia.

In Bangladesh a major humanitarian operation was set up to provide protection and assistance to Rohingya refugees. Among the multitude of needs, specific attention has been directed towards the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of those affected. Many organisations and individuals have been involved in providing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Malaysia, India, and elsewhere. Decades of structural social violence towards the Rohingya has had deep effects on community and family life of the Rohingya. The effects of horrifying events, including mass killing, torture and sexual and gender-based violence in Myanmar and during the desperate journey to safety in Bangladesh, have compounded with the effects of ongoing daily stressors and insecurities of life in refugee settlements.

Intervention is therefore planning to publish a special section in 2019 on the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees. The aim is to collect a range of diverse contributions including research articles, field reports, personal reflections by humanitarian workers including refugees themselves. We wish to document the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya, describe the outcomes of assessments, project evaluations and operational research, formulate the lessons learnt around Rohingya MHPSS and make this knowledge available to others including those who work in humanitarian settings elsewhere in the world.

We are seeking contributions that focus on:

  • the mental health and psychosocial needs and resources (including for specific populations such as children, women, older people, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence), and with attention on coping strategies and community support mechanisms including traditional and religious healing, and/ or on
  • supports and interventions addressing MHPSS needs implemented by various sectors such as (mental) health, nutrition/livelihoods, education and protection (including child protection, community-based protection and SGBV prevention and response).

Contributions that describe the perspectives of Rohingya themselves and that are written by or in collaboration with Rohingya refugees are particularly welcome. Submissions on work with Rohingya outside Bangladesh, such as in Myanmar, Malaysia and other countries, are also welcome. Authors will be actively supported by the editors of Intervention in the process of writing for publication. Articles will be published in English, with abstracts in Bengali.

Submission guidelines
Papers will be selected on criteria such as their relevance to the field, methodological rigour and level of innovation. The editors want to collect the widest possible range of experiences. We are therefore encouraging short papers, not exceeding 5500 words (including references and tables) and field reports and personal reflections, not exceeding 3000 words. All contributions will be subject to the usual peer review processes.

For this special section, the article processing fee will be waived.

Deadline for submissions: 15 May 2019
Submission after this date cannot be accepted for the special section

Only electronic submissions will be accepted.
See: http://www.journalonweb.com/intv

Instructions for authors with guidance to prepare a manuscript can be found here:

Guest editors:

  • Peter Ventevogel, MD, PhD, Senior Mental Health Officer, UNHCR
  • Rebecca Horn, PhD, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh and consultant for the ACT Alliance
  • Andrew Riley, MA, Independent consultant and specialist in Rohingya MHPSS
  • Muhammad Kamruzzaman Mozumder, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Editor in chief:
  • Wendy Ager, War Trauma Foundation
For more information or discussion of potential ideas, please contact: Peter Ventevogel (ventevog@unhcr.org) or Wendy Ager (w.ager@arq.org).

Editorial board