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Institute for Global Health

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A package of care for the mental health of survivors of violence in South Asia

Project Summary

This multidisciplinary group will develop a comprehensive and adaptable package of care to improve the mental health of survivors of violence against women (VAW), modern slavery, and civil conflict in resource-constrained settings in India, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.

Important commonalities exist between the mental health needs of survivors of the different forms of violence this group will be addressing – VAW, modern slavery and conflict. VAW describes physical, sexual, emotional, or economic intimate partner, domestic, and non-partner violence, and affects 42% of women in South Asia.

Modern slavery describes forced marriage, forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. It affects 40 million people worldwide with the greatest burden in Asia. Lastly, conflict - amidst discriminatory gender norms - has exposed a majority of women to abuse, trauma and poor mental health in countries worldwide, including Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

These forms of violence are gendered, culturally and generationally recapitulated, and strongly associated with mental illness, particularly depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thinking. Reductions in prevalence and severity of these conditions will be our target outcomes in groups whose gender and age reflect local burden of violence.

In developing a package of care adaptable to different forms of violence in resource-limited settings, we will identify and review promising models, refine them contextually through user engagement, pilot and collate them.

The Global Health Research group’s objectives:

  • Identify candidate component interventions
  • Understand survivors mental health needs
  • Working survivors and service providers, co-develop a care package that fills service gaps 
  • Determine the feasibility, acceptability and transferability of care package components

Links to other research

Other research from the UCL Centre for the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents

Other research from IGH on Gender-based violence, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Women’s and Reproductive Health and Conflict

Other research from IGH in IndiaSri Lanka and Afghanistan