Title: Mental Health in a Cross-Cultural Perspective with a Special Focus on Traumatized Populations
Keywords: Violence / war
Mental health problems
Health in emergencies
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Berlin
Course coordinator: Sibylle Rothkegel, Psychologist/Psychotherapist
Date start: 2018-03-19
Date end: 2018-03-23
About duration and dates: 1 Week (plus 2 days of assignment writing)
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location: Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin Campus Virchow-Klinikum Augustenburger Platz 1 Berlin-Wedding Germany
ECTS credit points: 2 ECTS credits
SIT: 60 hours SIT (30 hrs contact time plus 15 hours self-directed learning during the course plus 15 hrs for assignment writing).
Language: English
The aim of this course is to learn about mental health in a socio-cultural context and to acquire basic practical skills to be applied in situations of population groups being severely traumatised by conflict or natural disasters, particularly from the cross-cultural perspective.

At the end of the module the participants will be able to:

- employ cultural competence in disaster mental health programs: key concepts
- appraise the meaning of stigma and mental health problems
- recognize the previous traumatization and its effect on individuals and groups.
- explain the social-psychological effects of traumatisation and the enduring mental health problems.
- identify the main signs and symptoms of traumatization and be able to critically appraise this entity and its limitations, e.g. in a non-Western context.
- Apply the concept of sequential traumatisation
- Apply the multifactor approach to prevent and deal with the gender based violence
- Acquire skills to prevent “vicarious” traumatisation
Assessment Procedures:
Individual written exam (open questions only), 2 hours, 50% contribution to overall grade, pass mark 60%
Individual essay (case study), 2000-4000 words, 50% contribution to overall grade
Students who fail will be offered one re-sit examination of the failed part, which should take place by the beginning of the following semester. A second re-sit is allowed but may be linked to conditions set by the Committee of Admissions and Degrees.
- Cultural competence in disaster mental health programs: key concepts.
- Mental Health Interventions and criteria for the selection of priorities
- Contextual and temporal approach and its implication for program development
- Traumatic events such as violation of human rights and its impact on individuals and communities.
- The psychosocial approach: aspects of development work in virulent conflicts
- sequential traumatisation, retraumatisation; refugees and internally displaced persons
- Gender based violence and disempowerment process and the responses
- Burnout, secondary or vicarious trauma, protective mechanisms for staff in conflict areas
- Introduction of debriefing method, case studies and exercises
For each session, after the short powerpoint based lecture, there will be interactive discussions, sharing of professional experience and self-reflection. Case studies, role plays, viewing of films related to mental health & trauma, group work and discussion of group work results etc.
Knowledge of unstable populations is helpful but not a precondition.

English proficiency: tropEd students need to provide proof of registration as tropEd student at their home institution only.
Max. 20 students
Places are allocated on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Deadline for application: 6 weeks before module start (4 Feb 2018)
We shall confirm the module 4 weeks before module start latest subject to a sufficient number of applications.
Late applications will be considered as long as places are available.
500 EUR for tropEd MScIH students and alumni
750 EUR for others
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Change of course coordinator: since 2009, Dr. Rothkegel replaced Dr. Schröder to coordinate this module.

In the first three years of this module, there was a strong focus on the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After reviewing students’ feedback, the coordinator switched the focus of the module to a wider range of mental health problems and interventions. The cross-cultural aspects of mental health were added to the course since 2008. From 2012, traumatisation by natural disasters has been added as a topic.
Student evaluation:
Overall evaluation of this module was good.
Students were especially pleased with the group exercises and practical real life examples. But they also pointed out that the cross cultural aspects of mental health problems were missing and the module is too much focused on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more time should be given to other mental health problems and intervention methods.
Lessons learned:
The previous module coordinator used a lot of PTSD cases as examples and focused on a certain personal debriefing method. Although students appreciated these cases and experiences, they felt that a wider range of mental health topics and more contextual approach to trauma need to be included in the module. Therefore, in the past two modules the new course coordinator paid more attention to trauma as a process and influence of social support. More time for different approaches in dealing with mental health issues were allocated.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in Berlin, January 2005 and re-accredited in November 2011 and February 2017. This accreditation is valid until August 2017.
Course was been successfully run for the first time in March 2004.
Approved for 1.5 ECTS credit points in 2004, 2.0 ECTS in 2005 (with additional post-course work and report)
Course application form
Email Address: mscih-student@charite.de
Date Of Record Creation: 2011-12-09 00:26:39 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2011-12-09 06:37:09 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2017-11-19 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2017-11-19 15:59:21 (W3C-DTF)

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