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Psychiatry in humanitarian emergencies
  1. Peter Hughes
  1. Consultant Psychiatrist


Dr Peter Hughes is a UK based Consultant Psychiatrist. He has been working globally for over 15 years in Humanitarian and development settings. He has worked with UN and non UN organisations. He founded the RCPsych Volunteering Special Interest group. He has written extensively on the topic and launches his book on Global Mental Health volunteering this year. He has been Chair of the London Division of RCPsych. He has most recently been working in Afghanistan. His main professional interest is in integrated mental health in Primary Care and Humanitarian emergencies.

Abstract This is an overview of humanitarian emergencies. There will be a description of background context of global mental health and in particular complex humanitarian emergencies. The basic principles of emergency response through the Global Interagency Standing Committee, ‘building back better’ and the mental health effects will be outlined. The message of hope comes through the building back better narrative. Effects on front line workers are discussed along with the importance of self care. There is a discussion around how high income countries need to have some accountability for emergencies in other parts of the world. There is guidance on how Psychiatrists can become involved in these emergencies worldwide.

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