Title: Mental Health from a Cross-Cultural Perspective with a Special Focus on Traumatised Populations
Keywords: resilience
Mental health
Conflict affected setting
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Institute of International Health, Berlin
Course coordinator: Dr Carola Eyber
Date start: 2024-02-26
Date end: 2024-03-06
About duration and dates: Total length: 2,5 weeks ● Eight days face-to-face delivery ● An equivalent of three days for the preparation of the final assignment, which is to be submitted ten days after the face-to-face teaching.
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location: Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Campus Virchow-Klinikum
ECTS credit points: 3.5 ECTS credits
SIT: 105 hours SIT (48 hrs contact time plus 6 hours for formative group work assignment plus 30 hours self-directed learning during the first two weeks plus 21 hrs for writing the final assignment).
Language: English
On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:
● Critically analyse current conceptualisation and critiques of the global mental health movement and psychosocial wellbeing approaches with special attention to the role of culture and context in shaping the experience of mental health and wellbeing
● 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

● Critically evaluate current approaches in conflict-affected settings to providing mental health and psychosocial support to children and young people and to the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence
● Apply theoretical knowledge and skills in Psychological First Aid, staff care and self-care in practice and critically reflect on the experience.

● Differentiate and assess approaches to addressing stigma directed against people with mental illness in post-emergency settings
Assessment Procedures:
● A formative group work assignment which will be completed during the eight days of teaching and will be presented on the final day of teaching. Students will select a case study based on a situation of displacement and will be asked to present their approach to providing mental health and psychosocial support to the affected groups or populations. Students will receive verbal feedback on their presentation from the lecturer and co-participants.
● The final assignment will be an individual essay on a Global Mental Health topic (case study), ca. 2,500 words, pass mark 60%.To be submitted 10 days after the end of the face-to-face teaching. The essay results will be communicated to the student via email. Students who fail the final assignment will be offered one resubmission, which should take place not later than one month after receipt of the fail mark. A second resubmission is allowed but may be linked to conditions set by the Committee of Admissions and Degrees, such as attending the course again in the following year (no additional fees).
● Global Mental Health Movement (GMHM): its history, aims and approaches. This includes critically analysing some of the theoretical assumptions underlying the GMHM and its relevance to conflict-affected settings
● Policy, guidelines and implementation of global mental health (e.g. IASC Guidelines, 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 within context: theories from psychology, anthropology and development studies will be used to investigate how these approaches have been applied in relation to improving psychosocial wellbeing in resource-poor and humanitarian settings
● Approaches to providing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for children and young people in humanitarian settings.
● Approaches in conflict-affected settings to the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and providing MHPSS for survivors
● Strategies for addressing stigma directed against people with mental illnesses in post-emergency settings
● Psychological First Aid: practical skills and the theory underpinning the approach, including approaches to evaluate/research effectiveness of psychological first aid in various contexts.
● Staff Care: mental health of development/humanitarian workers, including theory of coping, state of the art in organisational staff care provision, and proven approaches to self-care
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.
● English proficiency: English TOEFL test 550 or 213 computer-based or 79/80 internet-based or IELTS band 6.0.
● tropEd students with successful completion of the Core Course (proof from home institution required), or guest participants with relevant qualification and/or experience in mental health
Max. 30 participants (unlimited tropEd students)
Places are allocated on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Deadline for application: 8 weeks before the module starts.
Deadline for payment: 4 weeks before the module starts.
We shall confirm the module 6 weeks before the module starts latest, subject to a sufficient number of applications (minimum 10).
Late applications will be considered as long as places are available.
1,225 EUR MScIH and tropEd students and alumni (For Berlin students who started their studies in 2022 or earlier the old scale of fees applies. Please see here)
1,531.25 EUR for others
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Change of course coordinator: With effect from 2024 Dr Eyber will be the coordinator of the course, replacing Dr Hans-Friedemann Kinkel who has acted as coordinator since 2018. Dr Eyber has been the main lecturer since 2018 and has provided advice on the learning objectives, course contents and learning methods. In 2018, Dr Eyber replaced Dr Rothkegel who was the main lecturer and coordinator of the course since 2009. Dr Rothkegel again took over from Dr Schröder who initiated and coordinated the module in 2004..
In the first years of this module, there was a strong focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After reviewing students’ feedback, the coordinator (Dr Schröder) 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 in 2008. From 2012, traumatisation by natural disasters has been added as a topic. In response to feedback from the participants the course was extended in 2023 for a Psychological First Aid part (3 days, Dr Rebecca Horn) and a Staff Care part (2 days, Dr Hannah Strohmeier).

Changes made in 2023/2024:
1) The formative assignment has been changed from a written assignment to a group work assignment to reduce the workload on students during the face-to-face teaching period. The formative assignment also aligns more closely with the final assignment and will therefore be more relevant as a formative activity.
2) The contact hours have been reduced from 54 to 48 to provide a more compact delivery of the course. Students found it difficult to stay for the entire 2-week period and the delivery over 8 days rather than 9 tries to accommodate this. The content has been re-aligned with the objectives and adjusted to provide balanced time to all topics.
3) Dr Carola Eyber will take over the course coordination from 2024 onwards.
Student evaluation:
The evaluations since 2018 of this module were always excellent. Students were especially pleased with the group exercises and practical real life examples. Students suggested expanding the course to learn about the practice of Psychological First Aid and Staff Care.

After running in the expanded format in 2023 students expressed appreciation for the content but suggested that spreading the teaching over two weeks was too long. It was also suggested that some topics received a bit too much time and that the topics could be balanced with one another. These suggestions have been addressed through the changes made in the reaccreditation in October 2023.
Lessons learned:
The first module coordinator (Dr Schröder) used many 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. Dr Eyber’s focus is more on global trends in Mental Health Movements and she presents a critical perspective on challenges and debates in this field. Theoretical approaches from the disciplines of psychology, psychiatry and medical anthropology have also been included, and varied case studies from the field are used in the course. As students wished for instruments they can apply in practice, Psychological First Aid and Staff Care was added to the course in 2023.
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. Re-accredited in January 2019, in Lisbon and in September 2022, in Hamburg. Re-accredited in EC Telco in December 2023.This accreditation is valid until December 2028.
Remarks: CoCourse was 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) and 3,5 ECTS in 2022 (with additional Psychological First Aids and Staff Care)
Email Address: ceyber2016@gmail.com
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: 2018-06-27 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2024-01-23 09:00:40 (W3C-DTF)