By: Marian Tankink, Friederike Bubenzer and Sarah van der Walt
Date of publication: 2017
Achieving Sustainable Peace through an Integrated Approach to Peacebuilding and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support: A review of current theory and practice
A report by the the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and the War Trauma Foundation.
In 2015, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and the War Trauma Foundation (WarTrauma) jointly hosted an international conference attended by 50 mental health and peacebuilding academics and practitioners from 17 countries titled ‘Healing Communities, Transforming Society: Exploring the Interconnectedness Between Psychosocial Needs, Practice and Peacebuilding’ (Bubenzer & Tankink, 2015). An in-depth report was compiled, which summarises the key themes and findings from this conference. At the conference, the general consensus was that post-conflict interventions that link mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and peacebuilding (PB) are more sustainable than those that do not. One of the key recommendations that emerged from the report is the need to conduct further research and analysis in the form of a review of international literature describing theoretical models and interventions implemented in post-conflict contexts, which link MHPSS with PB with a view towards developing, in the long term, an integrated and practical model bridging both disciplines.