The present project aims to contribute to the implementation of the Comprehensive Health Care Policy (PAIS) by providing knowledge and tools for local approaches to the mental health needs in five post-conflict territories: Bolívar, Cauca, Meta, Putumayo and Tolima. The project links mental health, post-conflict healing, and reintegration of stigmatized groups through a multi-disciplinary research-based approach.
The project’s focus falls under overarching theme of the SDGs – leave no one behind – through including stigmatized and marginalized groups such as minors. Its main objective over time is to facilitate improvement of mental health in post-conflict Colombia and ultimately, contribute towards building a peaceful and democratic society. Its immediate objective is to facilitate the improvement of mental health in vulnerable and stigmatized groups in conflict-ridden areas through effective evidence-based interventions that respond to the needs and preferences of the populations in question.
The overall objective and long-term goal of the project is to investigate and successfully implement and evaluate effective ways to improve mental health in post-conflict Colombia and thereby contributing to building a peaceful and democratic society.
Especially, the project focuses on improving mental health in vulnerable and stigmatized groups in conflict-ridden areas through effective knowledge- and evidence-based focused interventions that respond to the needs and preferences of the population.
The project has the following expected outcomes and outputs
To generate research-based knowledge about vulnerable populations including the dynamics between stigma, social capital and mental health in order to guide the design of focused interventions.
- Output 1.1: To gain increased knowledge about the territorial distribution and characteristics of the vulnerable and stigmatized groups.
- Output 1.2: To gain increased knowledge about vulnerable and stigmatized groups’ violence exposures, treatment and support needs, health-seeking behaviour, and preferences for health care and community reintegration.
- Output 1.3: Increased knowledge about social dynamics shaping stigmatization including potential predictors for successful mental health treatment and community reintegration of vulnerable and stigmatized groups.
To implement, through the health care system, innovative and evidence-based outreach interventions which effectively strengthen mental health in vulnerable and stigmatized groups.
- Output 2.1: To design and implement focused outreach interventions aiming to improve the mental health of vulnerable and stigmatized groups on a pilot basis.
- Output 2.2: To establish a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system for follow-up on the course and impact of the outreach interventions.
- Output 2.3: To evaluate pilot outreach interventions, and to provide recommendations for mental health and social inclusion interventions within public health policy planning.
To strengthen research capacity among project partners.
- Output 3.1: To provide and strengthen the knowledge among local health care providers on how to collect, analyze, and use data in their daily work
- Output 3.2: To increase the capacity of the Colombia Ministry of Health to engage with private research institutions and its capacity to work evidence-based when designing mental health policies and interventions.
- Output 3.3: To increase the capacity of University Externado to engage in partnership with public institutions on the use of research results, its capacity in mixed-methods research in mental health and its capacity in evaluating interventions.
- Output 3.4: To increase DIGNITY’s international research experience and ability to transform results of needs assessment surveys into national intervention strategies and interventions.