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 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Americas

FULL SCHEDULE: Pope Francis' itinerary to Mexico Watch

Image of The Mexican trip by the pontiff will address immigration issues, as well as violence stemming from the country's drug cartels.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The full itinerary for Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in February of next year has been announced. The trip by the pontiff will address immigration issues, as well as violence stemming from the country's drug cartels. While in Mexico, Pope Francis will celebrate ... continue reading


Please join us in prayer: Zika epidemic in Colombia infects THOUSANDS of pregnant women Watch

Image of Zika continues to spread without signs of slowing (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Reports of Zika's spread have been pouring in at clinics and hospitals around Colombia. Sadly, nearly 32,000 pregnant women have tested positive for the potentially devastating virus. Please join us in a short prayer for healing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On ... continue reading


Slain Mexican baby becomes symbol for nation's neverending gang violence Watch

Image of Grim photographs of this slain Mexican family have circulated widely on social media site (Facebook).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An overwhelming tragedy - the random killing of a seven-month-old baby boy - has been galvanized into a symbol of Mexico's rampant gang violence. Little Marcus Migeul Pano Colon, captured in photographs lying down in a city street riddled with bullets has been widely ... continue reading


HUMAN SACRIFICE: Ancient Peruvian tomb yields bodies of six women killed in rituals Watch

Image of Researchers say that the skeletal remains found at a temple were once part of the Lambayeque culture. Photo courtesy of Museo Tumblas Reales de Sipan.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Archaeologists have uncovered grisly evidence of 1,200-year-old sacrificial rituals in Pre-Inca Peru. The skeletons of six females have been discovered on the former site of a temple. The women's murders were believed ritualistic in nature as their bodies were ... continue reading


Soldiers going 'door to door' to combat deadly Zika virus in Brazil Watch

Image of The Zika virus is linked to microcephaly, where children are born with freakishly small heads. (Getty Images)

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread rapidly throughout Brazil. The virus is linked to the birth defect microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with smaller than normal heads, along with brain damage. The Brazilian government has sent more than 200,000 ... continue reading


Over 7,000 refugees to arrive in America within the next few days Watch

Image of Cuban migrants cross into Texas to reach freedoms promised in America (AP).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands of Cuban refugees seek freedom in the United States by traveling through Central America and crossing the Mexico-Texas border. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Over 7,000 Cuban refugees are expected to illegally cross the Mexican border into the United ... continue reading


You'll never guess what was found in El Chapo's weapon cache! Watch

Image of One type of weapon discovered in El Chapo's cache has the power to down a helicopter (exploding helicopter.blogspot).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Authorities discovered a .50 caliber rifle among a massive weapons cache at Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's Mexican hideout. The rifle is so powerful, it can shoot a helicopter from the sky. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following the recapture of El Chapo, a ... continue reading


Award-winning news station, Al Jazeera America goes belly-up as the price of oil plunges Watch

Image of Al Jazeera America must close its doors as it finds itself unable to keep up in an increasingly digital world (Al Jazeera America).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Award-winning news station Al Jazeera America has won several awards including Best Documentary at the International Emmy Awards and Best Show or Series at the News, Cablefax Digital Awards, but the renowned station is forced to close shop. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Venezuela's First Lady claims DEA kidnapped her nephews when they were caught trafficking drugs Watch

Image of Cilia Flores believes her nephews were kidnapped by the DEA (Alex Guzmn/AVN).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Venezuela's First Lady, Cilia Flores, believes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) committed crimes in her country, including the kidnap of two of her nephews, who were discovered to be drug traffickers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday Flores ... continue reading


An inside look at El Chapo's tunnel: Sewers, concrete walls and automatic weapons (WARNING: Graphic Photos) Watch

Image of El Chapo's tunnel system kept him well-hidden (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Images have been released days following El Chapo Guzmán's recapture. The pictures feature the tunnel system the drug lord hid in as well as the shot-up condo above, in which five of El Chapo's henchmen were killed, six were arrested and two women were discovered. LOS ... 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

  • The Way of the Cross continues on
  • Daily Reading for Friday, February 12th, 2016 HD Video
  • St. Buonfiglio Monaldo: Saint of the Day for Friday, February 12, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Friday, February 12, 2016
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Daily Reading for Saturday, February 13th, 2016 HD Video
  • Is Valentine's Day...? (Take the quick survey!)

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-9
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 12th, 2016 Image

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo
February 12: He was one of seven Florentines who had joined ... Read More