Mental health in South Sudan: a case for community‐based support

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This paper provides a snapshot of the mental health situation in South Sudan between 2013 and 2016, taking account of the personal reflections of both authors who were engaged in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming in the country at this time. It begins by presenting an overview of MHPSS activities from this period, including governmental and non‐governmental organisation (NGO) services, and relevant research and coordination mechanisms. It goes on to illustrate the challenges to the provision of support, as well as the overarching structural, governance, and human resource constraints faced by the sector. Finally, recommendations are put forward for improving services and care for people suffering from psychosocial and mental health issues, as well as suggestions for areas of focus in the future. The importance of an integrated, community‐based model is emphasised, and opportunities for organisations engaged in reconciliation efforts and mental health service provision to collaborate are proposed.

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Aidan Goldsmith

Former Country Coordinator Dutch Consortium for Rehabilitation, Save the Children, South Sudan.

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