Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/27/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Medical group says mental health issues in South American nation remain largely invisible

In the South American nation of Colombia, decades of bloodshed between D the government, leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups have left untold psychological scars on the survivors. The conflict killed at least 100,000 people and forced about five million Colombians to flee their homes. The Doctors Without Borders group says that the trauma inflicted on survivors here has remained a largely unseen, psychological problem.

Under Colombia's laws and constitution, mental health care is seen as a basic right, which means the government should provide it to all citizens when necessary. For those living in conflict-ridden regions, mostly around the nation's southern provinces, people have little or no access to mental health services.

Under Colombia's laws and constitution, mental health care is seen as a basic right, which means the government should provide it to all citizens when necessary. For those living in conflict-ridden regions, mostly around the nation's southern provinces, people have little or no access to mental health services.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/27/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Colombia, trauma, conflict, murder, torture, psychological problems, mental health


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There are the expected signs of stress among the very young. Children have recurring nightmares and wet their beds, while their parents suffer depression, anxiety and panic disorders.

Doctors Without Borders, or MSF says that the impact of the conflict on people's mental health is a problem that is largely invisible and unaccounted for.

"Despite the profound impact that violence has on Colombia's population, mental health continues to be a little known issue. People suffer alone, in silence and are often ignored," Javier Llorca, head of MSF in Colombia, told a press conference in Bogota.

Based upon 4,455 patient consultations with MSF psychologists in four provinces in southern Colombia, the report found that nearly 70 percent of those patients surveyed had directly experienced one or more types of violence, making them more vulnerable to mental illness. Witness to sexual violence and rape - both at the hands of relatives and by armed groups; survivors weathered killings or lost family members who disappeared or were murdered. Others were forcibly displaced, taken hostage or caught in crossfire between warring factions.

A survivor who has been exposed to such trauma is 4.3 times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than someone who has not endured such violence, MSF said in its report.

One harrowing example was an unnamed woman who witnessed the killing of her neighbors by an armed group, forcing her and her family to leave their home.

"I have dreams where I see the heads of my neighbors. I see them crying, begging for mercy. I wake up crying," the 50-year-old woman is quoted as saying in the report.

"I've never seen my husband so quiet. I've never seen him cry in silence. I have to say that my son is not the boy he once was. Now in his eyes there's no sweetness but anger and hate. I don't know what will become of us. Our lives won't be the same because we've been displaced."

A third of the survivors, 1,410 people said they had been victims of domestic violence, the most common type of violence cited.

"There is academic research that shows domestic violence increases in the context of armed conflicts," Cristina Carreno, a psychiatrist and head of MSF's mental health program in Colombia said.

Under Colombia's laws and constitution, mental health care is seen as a basic right, which means the government should provide it to all citizens when necessary. For those living in conflict-ridden regions, mostly around the nation's southern provinces, people have little or no access to mental health services, MSF says.

"There are gaps in Colombia's mental health laws, a lack of psychologists in rural areas and obstacles in accessing mental health services, particularly in areas where there's no state presence. The response of health authorities to mental health disorders is in general limited and inadequate," MSF's Llorca said.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Americas

Cinco de Mayo - What is the day really about? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cinco de Mayo is upon us, and while many believe it is Mexico's Independence Day, it actually is not. So, what is Cinco de Mayo and why has it become so biculturally popular? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - "The significance of Cinco de Mayo is that it ... continue reading


Ecuador quake survivors share powerful stories of survival Watch

Image of The quake was the worst the Andean nation had seen in ten years (Paul Ochoa/Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated sections of Ecuador and left the death count at over 300 people. Over 2,000 destroyed buildings and ruined roads have been reported - and now survivors are sharing their harrowing experiences. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Previous Argentina President accused of money laundering Watch

Image of Former President of Argentina accused of money laundering (1meee).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After serving her country for eight years, former Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars into oversea accounts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former president Fernández de Kirchner has ... continue reading


Virgin Mary statue considered in notoriously secular Uruguay Watch

Image of Secular Uruguay debates whether to erect a Virgin Mary statue in a park (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Uruguay is considered a secular country and is known for its refusal to condone religious beliefs of any kind - yet there exists a debate concerning the erection of a Virgin Mary statue. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many in Uruguay stand on the country's ... continue reading


You won't believe what archaeologists recently uncovered in North America! Watch

Image of Were vikings in America before Columbus (Alamy)?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Sarah Parcak and her team set off on a journey to North America, where they expected to uncover Viking relics beneath over 1,000 years' of soil. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parcak used satellite images to search Northern America for irregularities in soil, each ... continue reading


Cuban paper accuses 'Negro Obama' of being dumb Watch

Image of Obama's visit to Cuba was a miserable failure and has been blasted in state media.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cuban state media has criticized Obama, calling him a "negro" and accusing him of attempting to incite rebellion and disorder in the communist state. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Cuban paper, Havana Tribune, has published a scathing article criticizing ... continue reading


Obama embarrasses nation, himself, in front of kids after suggesting communism is same as capitalism Watch

Image of If Obama really believes communism and capitalism are rational choices, then he should be kept at home until he's out of office to spare the rest of us national embarrassment.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama has made a downright dumb and embarrassing statement to Argentine youth during his visit to that country last week. The President claimed there was no difference between communism and capitalism. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In a bizarre ... continue reading


SHOCKING: 'El Chapo' visited USA TWICE while hiding from authorities Watch

Image of Despite being hunted, 'El Chapo' Guzman allegedly made two visits to the United States in late 2015.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mexican drug lord, "El Chapo" visited the USA twice following his escape from a Mexican prison last July. According to his daughter, Rosa Guzman Ortiz, the cartel leader used the opportunity to visit family members living in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Immigrants Welcome: 'It's a double standard for sure': America favors Cuba Watch

Image of United States shows favoritism toward Cubans (Jim Wyss).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While the United States fights to keep migrants from entering its borders illegally, the Obama administration has pledged $1 million to provide Cubans trapped in Costa Rica with water, food, sanitation kits and temporary housing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One ... continue reading


Desperate parents seek help for 'possessed' teenage daughter Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 15-year-old Honduran girl is being referred to as "possessed by the Devil" by her family and friends after she threatened to kill her mother and suffered from severely violent convulsions in church. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unnamed girl was filmed on ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 28 killed in refugee camp targeted by Assad's missiles
  • St. Thomas HD Video
  • 'The Evil': Exorcism classes forced on Spanish students
  • St. Rose Venerini: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 07, 2016
  • Pope Francis to EU: 'tear down the walls'
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, May 07, 2016
  • Arising from Sleep HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 18:9-18
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, 'Be fearless; speak out ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, John 16:20-23
20 'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 6th, 2016 Image

Bl. Edward Jones
May 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, ... Read More