Research on Global Mental Health in AJO

Sianko, Natallia. (2011). Gender equality and women's mental health: What's on the agenda? American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81(2), 167-171.

Abstract

Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is a wide-ranging bill of rights for women. The 186 national governments that are parties to CEDAW have pledged to take all appropriate measures to protect women from discrimination in commerce, employment, and property ownership and in cultural life, education, family life (including reproductive decision making), and politics. The publication launched a global movement to improve women’s mental health and to address behavioral issues in their physical health. To reduce or eliminate persisting gender disparities that continue to prevent full enjoyment of human rights (including the right to health), a high-priority, conceptually coherent plan of action is needed to enhance respect for the human rights of women and girls. CEDAW can serve as a blueprint with which to frame a comprehensive legal policy that guarantees political, civil, and economic rights for all women. At the core of the treaty is the fundamental principle that women's rights are human rights.

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2012-11012-004


Huynh, Hy V. (2014). New directions in orphan and vulnerable children policy and research: A focus on supporting "suitable" institutions when placement is "necessary" for a child. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(4), 387-394.

Abstract

As the number of children without parental care continues to increase in resource-poor countries, it is important not to discount institutional care as an option before conclusively assessing whether these structures have systematic negative impacts on the millions of children for which they provide care. An almost universal emphasis and focus on deinstitutionalizing children in the face of the urgent necessity for large-scale measures to care for the global orphaned population puts millions of children at risk of deprivation, degradation, and early death. Deinstitutionalizing children in underresourced countries without alternate systems in place could leave many children behind. This article proposes an equal assessment of suitability and necessity of all alternative care options, without relegating institutions as a last resort. Institutional care should be considered as no less suitable in certain cases and for certain children than other options, especially when there is a serious need for such an option in some parts of the world. In addition, recent research challenges early conclusions, shows variability in international institutions, and also documents positive effects of interventions seeking to improve institutions. The Convention of the Rights of the Child and its implicit “last resort” language, as well as subsequent global policies that also use this language, do not create a constructive way of approaching alternative care solutions for any children without parental care. Instead, policymakers and practitioners should establish individualized care plans for all children without parental care, regulate their admission to institutions with periodic reviews of the necessity and appropriateness of their placement, and develop standards for “suitability” of institutions to improve conditions.

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2014-27312-007


Rafferty, Yvonne. (2013). Child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation: A review of promising prevention policies and programs. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 83(4), 559-575.

Abstract

Child trafficking, including commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative criminal activities in the world. The global enslavement of children affects countless numbers of victims who are trafficked within their home countries or transported away from their homes and treated as commodities to be bought, sold, and resold for labor or sexual exploitation. All over the world, girls are particularly likely to be trafficked into the sex trade: Girls and women constitute 98% of those who are trafficked for CSE. Health and safety standards in exploitative settings are generally extremely low, and the degree of experienced violence has been linked with adverse physical, psychological, and social‐emotional development. The human‐rights‐based approach to child trafficking provides a comprehensive conceptual framework whereby victim‐focused and law enforcement responses can be developed, implemented, and evaluated. This article highlights promising policies and programs designed to prevent child trafficking and CSE by combating demand for sex with children, reducing supply, and strengthening communities. The literature reviewed includes academic publications as well as international and governmental and nongovernmental reports. Implications for social policy and future research are presented. 

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2013-38014-013


Kosher, Hanita & Ben-Arieh, Asher. (2016). What Children Think About Their Rights and Their Well-Being: A Cross-National Comparison. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

Abstract

Recent years have brought a growing social and public commitment to the promotion of children’s rights and children’s well-being around the world, and these have become important goals of all those striving to improve children’s lives. In spite of the intimate ideological connection between the concepts of children’s rights and children’s well-being, they have evolved separately both theoretically and empirically. In the current article, we present a study exploring the empirical association between these 2 concepts based on data from the International Survey on Children’s Well-Being. This unique survey explores children’s own perspectives on their well-being (subjective well-being), their perceptions and knowledge of their rights, and their reports on their right to participation. It includes data from more than 54,000 children aged 8–12 from 16 countries around the world. Our results showed clear cross-national differences between children’s knowledge and perceptions of their rights and their reports on participation. Also, children’s participation in different contexts in their lives showed an association with their subjective well-being; a weaker association was found between children’s knowledge and perceptions of their rights. These results indicate that children’s right to participation and, to some degree, their knowledge and thinking about their rights is an indicator of their well-being. 

http://psycnet.apa.org/psycarticles/2016-60390-001


McLeigh, Jill & Sianko, Natallia. (2011). What should be done to promote mental health around the world? American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 81(1), 83-89.

Abstract

In Angola, a former child soldier expressed fear and stress because the spirit of a man he killed visited him at night. The community viewed the boy as contaminated and feared retaliation by the spirit. Humanitarian workers consulted traditional healers and learned that the spirit could be expelled by the healer in a cleansing ritual. According to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), an international nongovernmental organization (INGO) provided the necessary food and animal for a sacrifice so that the healer could purify the boy and protect the community. Inter-Agency Standing Committee reported that a year after the tsunami in Southeast Asia, a community of 50 families in northern Sri Lanka identified 27 different INGOs offering or providing help. One interviewee lamented, "We never had leaders here. Most people are relatives. When someone faced a problem, neighbors came to help. But now some people act as if they are leaders, to negotiate donations. Relatives do not help each other anymore." These examples show the various roles that INGOs play in promoting mental health and psychosocial support in developing and transitional societies. Two contemporary programs or initiatives are especially noteworthy models for mental health services in developing and transitional communities, particularly in emergency situations. Recognizing the broad variation in mental health issues among both individuals and communities, the IASC guidelines suggest that a key way to organize mental health services is to develop a layered system of complementary supports, all of which should be implemented concurrently when possible. The guidelines emphasize that most mental health problems can be managed through simple measures to assist the entire displaced community. In particular, the guidelines provide for the promotion of community partnerships that draw on existing social capital. Preventing stigma, local volunteers, and village health workers or healers can be trained to perform screenings, monitoring, and followup. With due attention to the rights of people with mental health problems, Ortho can and should participate in advocacy for community-based services and resources for mental health, especially in places where mental health policy has yet to be articulated and mental health services are rare. 

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2012-11011-008