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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 108-114

Do humanitarian crises offer opportunities for change? A critical review of the mental health and psychosocial support post emergency in the Republic of the Congo

1 psychiatrist in the Liaison Psychiatry and Crisis Intervention Service of Geneva University Hospital (HUG)
2 psychologist working with a health focal point for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Brazzaville
3 chief of the Liaison Psychiatry and Crisis Intervention Service of the Geneva University Hospital (HUG)

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Violent explosions rocked the city of Brazzaville (the capital of the Republic of the Congo) on 4 March 2012, officially causing more than 280 deaths and leaving approximately 15,000 people displaced. Two months after this event, despite a large number of people suffering from considerable psychological distress, few people had called for, or had received, appropriate mental health care or any external psychosocial support. A field evaluation, following this emergency, led to a critical review of the limited capacity of the mental health care system in Brazzaville to respond to the population's needs. This evaluation also allowed a review of the current state of affairs in regard to mental health and psychosocial support by health care actors in Brazzaville. The crisis has, in this way, facilitated an increasing awareness and triggered a process of deeper examination of how to improve mental health care in the Republic of the Congo.

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