Psychosocial support for adolescent girls in post-conflict settings: beyond a health systems approach Samuels, Fiona Jones, Nicola Abu Hamad, Bassam 2019-12-18T12:30:32Z 2019-12-18T12:30:32Z 2017-12-09
dc.description.abstract Adaptive and adequately resourced health systems are necessary to achieve good health outcomes in post-conflict settings, however domains beyond the health system are also critical to ensure broader wellbeing. This paper focuses on the importance of psychosocial support services for adolescent girls in fragile contexts. Its starting point is that adolescence is a pivotal time in the life course but given the physical, cognitive and emotional changes triggered by the onset of puberty, it can also be a period of heightened sensitivity and vulnerability to trauma, social isolation, bullying by peers, a lack of supportive adults and gender-based and sexual violence. Our findings highlight why humanitarian and biomedical approaches in their current form are inadequate to address these complexities. Drawing on qualitative fieldwork (consisting of in-depth and key informant interviews as well as group discussions in Gaza, Liberia and Sri Lanka involving a total of 386 respondents across the three countries), we argue that going beyond biomedical approaches and considering the social determinants of health, including approaches to tackle discriminatory gendered norms and barriers to service access, are critical for achieving broader health and wellbeing. While all three case study countries are classified as post-conflict, the political economy dynamics vary with associated implications for experiences of psychosocial vulnerabilities and the service environment. The study concludes by reflecting on actions to address psychosocial vulnerabilities facing adolescent girls. These include: tailoring services to ensure gender and age-sensitivity; investing in capacity building of service providers to promote service uptake; and enhancing strategies to regulate and coordinate actors providing mental health and psychosocial support services. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Acknowledgements We would like to acknowledge the support of a number of people. In Liberia, The Liberia Center for Outcomes Research led this work supported by Janice Cooper, with Abayomi Cole and Elton Gbollie as research coordinators. In Sri Lanka the work was led by the Good Practice Group and in particular Kusala Wettesinghe, Sarala Emmanuel and Ananda Galappatti. In Gaza the study was led by Bassam Abu Hamad and Nadja Al Bayoumi from Al Quds University. We would also like to thank all the data collectors in the three countries. We also want to acknowledge support from Maria Stavropoulou for her work on the background literature review and Ingrid Gercama for support on data analysis. The Research in Gender and Ethics (RinGs): Building Stronger Health Systems Partnership (funded by DFID) provided invaluable inputs during the development and revision of this paper. Finally, we would like to thank all respondents for giving us their time and sharing their stories with us. Funding This study was funded by the ReBUILD consortium, a multi-year multi-country UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded research programme, and we would like to thank them for their ongoing support and contribution to this research. The views expressed within this paper are not necessarily those of DFID. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1460-2237
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Oxford University Press en_US
dc.subject Psychosocial en_US
dc.subject adolescence en_US
dc.subject girls en_US
dc.subject post-conflict en_US
dc.subject social determinants of health en_US
dc.subject wellbeing en_US
dc.subject health en_US
dc.subject Gaza en_US
dc.subject Liberia en_US
dc.subject Sri Lanka en_US
dc.title Psychosocial support for adolescent girls in post-conflict settings: beyond a health systems approach en_US
dc.type Article en_US
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