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Principal Investigator: Wietse A. Tol, Johns Hopkins

Research Snapshot: Improving the mental health of male refugees

This study found that delivery of a novel combination of two scalable interventions for reducing substance misuse and psychological distress in male refugees, a serious concern worldwide, was feasible and acceptable. Further rigorous evaluations, building on lessons learned in this feasibility trial, are now needed.

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The study will examine the effectiveness of a scalable psychological intervention adapted for male refugees to reduce psychological distress and associated risks. The research aims are:

  1. To adapt an existing multi-media self-help intervention (Self-Help Plus, SH+) to ensure active engagement of male South Sudanese refugees
  2. To assess the impact of SH+ on men’s psychological distress
  3. To assess the impact of SH+ on a range of secondary outcomes including alcohol misuse, anger, perpetration of violence against women and girls (VAW), and economic outcomes

Expected Outcomes

A number of outcomes are expected:-

  1. Knowledge on how to increase relevance, feasibility, acceptability; reduce barriers to psychological interventions with male refugees
  2. Results from a large cluster RCT on the effectiveness of a multi-media guided self-help intervention package in reducing psychological distress and symptoms, alcohol misuse, and functional impairment; improving economic outcomes; reducing perpetration of VAWG, self-identified psychosocial problems and improving wellbeing among South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda.
  3. Availability of psychometrically sound tools to assess psychological distress and symptoms, alcohol use, economic outcomes, and perpetration of VAWG in the Juba Arabic-speaking South Sudanese population.
  4. Finalisation and publication by WHO of a culturally-adapted Juba Arabic version of the SH+ intervention package for use with male South Sudanese refugees.
  5. Availability of an English language generic version of the SH+ intervention for males, which can be further adapted for other cultures and settings

Related Resources

Research Snapshot Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Research Snapshot: Improving the mental health of male refugees

Manual, Tool Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide

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