Over the past three years, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and its partner War Trauma Foundation led a desk-research project aimed at narrowing the gap between Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and Peacebuilding (PB). This project was based on the premise that war, conflict and the legacies of colonisation weaken the social fabric that governs relationships and the capacity for recovery. In the aftermath, the causes of interpersonal conflict might still exist and may even have worsened as a result of violence during the conflict. The ability of individuals and societies to cope with such extraordinarily painful experiences and with the developed mistrust and fear is impressive but also limited. The breakdown of coping strategies is often related to the mistrust and fear caused by traumatic experiences, the compounding factor of exposure to different types of violence and the duration of the conflict. The work of MHPSS workers as well as peacebuilders to restore the social fabric that binds and supports people within their communities is essential for breaking cycles of violence and building sustainable peace. While it seems self-evident that these two fields would coordinate their efforts in order to enhance their impact, anecdotal evidence (IJR mapping study) points to the fact that the two fields work mostly in isolation from one another.
Thus far, IJR has conducted extensive desk research, hosted multiple meetings with practitioners and academics from both fields, and has formed a Reference Group consisting of independent members and representatives of 14 organisations from around the world and representing both disciplines, to ensure a broad and inclusive process underpins the way forward.
The purpose of this webinar is
- To unpack why an integrated approach is favorable (from the point of view of IJR and the Psychosocial Peacebuilding Reference Group)
- To present some of the key findings from the literature review, mapping and outreach conducted so far by IJR and its partners
- To engage participants on their own experiences and views related to the development of a more integrated approach between MHPSS and PB.