Humanitarian Relief Workers and Trauma-related Mental Illness


Date of publication:  08 Sep 2011 Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

Analyzing the results of multiple studies, this article highlights the fact that relief work is more conducive to trauma-related mental illnesses and that humanitarian workers tend to suffer more from posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Based on the overall findings, the authors conclude that there are some key implications for humanitarian agency employees as well as for research. One of the conclusions emphasizes that aid workers should be informed of the risk of exposure to trauma and additional psychological effects. At the same time, agencies should create evidence-based support services in the field, provide culturally-sensitive support for national staff and ongoing support following agencies’ departure from the site and expatriates’ returning home.

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