Mental Health

Disasters and crises distinctively impact those with existing mental health problems and create new mental health issues. Therefore, research into mental health and disasters is much needed during disasters and in post-disaster settings. By carefully evaluating the research question, possible risks, data dissemination methods, existing power imbalances, and other environmental characteristics of the research setting, mental health research can be directly beneficial to participants. Researchers should ensure their projects do not negatively impact participants’ mental health. ................... The toll disasters take on individual mental health is wide-ranging. Those suffering from pre-existing mental health conditions are at increased risk for worsening symptoms, and post-disaster studies reveal increases in new symptoms of mental health conditions in affected populations. Mental health research for disaster and humanitarian settings is important. Appreciating the cultural perceptions of mental health is essential prior to selecting a research question and designing studies to address it. Furthermore, the risks of psychological studies, especially where participants are asked to recall events or trauma, should be carefully examined; the opportunity to recall disaster-related events in a safe environment can be beneficial, but not for everyone. This requires careful monitoring of participants by well-trained research staff and others, evaluating various power imbalances (including those between researcher and participant), and collaborating in data dissemination and post-study activities. Populations considered particularly vulnerable, such as children or those in institutional care settings, should be included in mental health and psychosocial research as much as possible. As with other areas of research, ethical challenges with particular populations should not lead to their exclusion from research into their mental health needs.

Which of the following are features of your study?

PREA Version 1.0. This site is under construction. Please continue to check back for more content or leave us a comment on how we can improve.