Title: Mental Health in a Cross-Cultural Perspective with a Special Focus on Traumatized Populations
Keywords: resilience
conflict-affected settings
Mental health problems
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Berlin
Course coordinator: Hans-Friedemann Kinkel
Date start: 2018-03-19
Date end: 2018-03-23
About duration and dates: 1 Week, submission of final assignment 30th March. An equivalent of two and a half days for assignment preparation and submission after face-to-face delivery. The submission date for the assignment will be agreed on during the course with the coordinator, the main lecturer and the students.
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
On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:
• Identify and analyse current conceptualization and critiques of the global mental health movement and psychosocial wellbeing approaches with special attention to the implications of these approaches for different stakeholders
• Critically appraise the evidence for global mental health approaches and psychosocial interventions (with a special focus on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and demonstrate awareness of existing challenges
• Draw on theoretical debates and conceptual frameworks in analyzing the role of culture and context in shaping the experience of mental health and wellbeing
• Critically evaluate current approaches in conflict-affected settings to the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence
• Differentiate and assess approached to addressing stigma directed against people with mental illness in post-emergency settings
Assessment Procedures:
Individual written exam (open-ended questions with short answers only), 2 hours, 50% contribution to overall grade, pass mark 60%.
Individual essay (case study), 2,500 words, 50% contribution to overall grade.
Exam and essay results will be communicated to the student via email. 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.
• Global Mental Health Movement: its history, aims and approaches. This includes critically analysing some of the theoretical assumptions underlying the GMHM and ist relevance to conflict-affected settings
• Policy, guidelines and implementation of global mental health (e.g. mhGAP). The implications of GMH practice in relation to available evidence and perspectives from stakeholders will be critically analysed.
• Conceptualising post-traumatic stress disorders and psychosocial wellbeing: theories from psychology, sociology and development studies will be used to investigate how these approaches have been applied in relation to improving wellbeing in resource-poor and humanitarian settings
• Emergency contexts and humanitarian crises: an analysis of approaches, practice and guidelines in the field as well as challenges faced by agencies seeking to implement these.
• Approaches in conflict-affected settings to the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence
• Strategies for addressing stigma directed against people with mental illnesses in post-emergency settings
• Introduction of debriefing method, case studies and exercises
There will be a mixture of sessions (~60%), case studies and role plays (~15%), viewing of films related to mental health & trauma with discussion (~10%) and group work with discussion of results (~15%). For each session, after a short PowerPoint based lecture, there will be interactive discussions, sharing of professional experiences and self-reflection.
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. 30 students (unlimited tropEd students)
Places are allocated on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Deadline for application: 10 weeks before module starts.
Deadline for payment: 8 weeks before module start.
We shall confirm the module 6 weeks before module start latest, subject to a sufficient number of applications.
Late applications will be considered as long as places are available.
250 € for tropEd MScIH students and alumni
375 € for others
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Change of course coordinator: With effect of 2018, Dr Hans-Friedemann Kinkel will act as coordinator of the course, Dr Carola Eyber will advise on the learning objectives, course contents and learning methods and will replace Dr Rothkegel as main lecturer. Dr Rothkegel has replaced Dr. Schröder as coordinator of the module in 2009.
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.
Most recent evaluations (2016) suggested more depth (concepts, theory, academic discussions) and more learning on the practice of working with traumatized people.
Lessons learned:
The first module coordinator (Dr Schröder) 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, Dr. Rothkegel paid more attention to trauma as a process and influence of social support. More time for different approaches in dealing with mental health issues was allocated.
Taking recent student evaluations into consideration, Dr Eyber will be focusing more on global trends in mental health movements and present a critical perspective on challenges and debates in this field. Theoretical approaches from the disciplines of psychology, psychiatry and medical anthropology will be given more prominence, and varied case studies from the field continue to be used in the course.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in Berlin, January 2005 and re-accredited in November 2011, February 2017 and in March 2018. This accreditation is valid until March 2023.
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: 2018-03-19 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2018-03-19 16:45:29 (W3C-DTF)

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